True Crime: High Profile Court Trials To Watch In 2023

A new year has arrived, and with it, a whole host of upcoming high-profile criminal trials for crimes that have captivated the nation over the past few years.

Here are the trials to watch in 2023:

The University of Idaho Killings

A suspect was arrested shortly before the new year in the grisly slayings of four University of Idaho students and will possibly face a trial before the end of the year.

The suspect, who is not being named per Daily Wire policy, was arrested in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, some 2,400 miles away from where the killings occurred.

Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Ethan Chapin, 20; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Madison Mogen, 21, were killed in an off-campus residence in the early morning hours of November 13, 2022. For weeks, police remained tight-lipped about the case, until they announced on December 30th that a suspect had been arrested. The suspect, a graduate student at Washington State University studying criminal justice and criminology, is expected to plead not guilty.

U.S. v. David DePape

David DePape, 42, was arrested and charged with assaulting Paul Pelosi, the wealthy husband of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), with a hammer at his home in San Francisco, California. Prosecutors charged DePape with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and elder abuse, Fox News reported in December.

DePape pleaded not guilty and allegedly had a planned hit list of other targets, including actor Tom Hanks and President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.

While no trial date has been scheduled, it is likely to occur sometime in 2023.

South Carolina v. Alex Murdaugh

The long, strange downfall of disgraced attorney Alex Murdaugh will finally come to an end when his trial begins on January 23. He faces murder charges for allegedly killing his wife and son to cover up a long list of financial crimes, including money laundering and stealing settlement money from clients. Murdaugh pleaded not guilty to the charges in July. 

At that time, he was already in prison for dozens of other charges, including financial crimes and charges related to his alleged attempt to stage a fake “hit” on himself. Those charges, according to The Washington Post, were made after his wife and son were killed, but he had not been indicted for their deaths until last July.

Florida v. Charlie Adelson

On July 18, 2014, Florida State University law professor Dan Markel pulled into his garage and was promptly shot to death. Years later, an apparent conspiracy behind his death came to light: Locked in a custody battle with his ex-wife, Wendi Adelson, Markel was killed in a murder-for-hire plot allegedly orchestrated by Charlie Adelson (Wendi’s brother) and Donna Adelson (Charlie and Wendi’s mother), who reportedly used a woman named Katherine Magbanua as an intermediary to hire two men, Sigfredo Garcia and Luis Rivera, to murder Markel.

Rivera pled guilty to the crime and was sentenced to 19 years in prison, Garcia was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison, and Magbanua was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison plus two consecutive 30-year sentences. Jury selection for Charlie Adelson’s trial is set to begin on April 24.

Texas v. Kaitlin Armstrong

Kaitlin Armstrong is accused of shooting Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson in Austin, Texas, on May 11 as part of a love triangle gone wrong. U.S. Marshals, working with Homeland Security Investigations, learned that Armstrong boarded a flight in New Jersey by using a fraudulent passport and landed in Costa Rica on May 18 – one week after Wilson was murdered and one day after an arrest warrant was issued for Armstrong.

Armstrong is suspected of killing Wilson because they were both romantically connected to the same man, professional cyclist Colin Strickland. Strickland and Armstrong dated for three years before taking a break. During that time, Strickland began to see Wilson. The relationship lasted just a few weeks, and Strickland and Armstrong got back together a month later.

Armstrong’s trial is scheduled for June 26.

Florida v. Scot Peterson

Scot Peterson was a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy on duty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in February 2018 when a 19-year-old former student entered the building and shot and killed 17 people.

Peterson was armed and at the high school when the shooting began, but remained outside the building as the shooter gunned down students and staff. He was suspended without pay shortly after the shooting and retired, but more than a year later, he was arrested and charged for child neglect and culpable negligence, as well as perjury. He pleaded not guilty and filed to have the charges dropped. His trial was delayed in July and is expected to start on February 27.

Wisconsin v. Taylor Schabusiness

Prosecutors allege that Taylor Schabusiness told police to “have fun trying to find all the organs” of the man she allegedly murdered before leaving his severed head in a bucket in his basement.

Police in Green Bay, Wisconsin, said they responded to a call from a mother who said she found her son’s head in a bucket in their basement. When they arrived at the home, police found the head in a bucket with a towel on it, along with dried blood on a nearby mattress.

The mother told police that her son and Schabusiness had been in the basement earlier that day while the mother was out of the house. After the mother returned home and went to sleep, she was awakened around 2:30 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning to a storm door slamming. She assumed Schabusiness left. She then went down into the basement, where she found her son’s severed head in a bucket.

Schabusiness’ trial is scheduled for March 6.

Florida v. Sarah Boone

Sarah Boone allegedly zipped her boyfriend, 42-year-old Jorge Torres Jr., in a suitcase and left him to die in February 2020. Her defense claims it was a hide-and-seek game gone wrong, but police have said they have videos of Boone taunting Torres as he attempted to get out of the suitcase. Boone allegedly admitted to going to bed and leaving Torres in the suitcase, only to find him dead inside of it the next morning.

Her trial is scheduled to being on January 30.

Wisconsin v. Mark Jensen

Mark Jensen, a former stockbroker, was already convicted in 2008 of killing his wife Julie 10 years earlier. The couple had been married 14 years when Jensen allegedly poisoned Julie with antifreeze in 1998.

Police found a letter written by Julie prior to her death that stated she was suspicious of her husband. She delivered the letter to a neighbor after she looked through Jensen’s planner and other notes. The letter noted that she would not commit suicide, so if she died, her husband should be considered a suspect.

“I pray that I am wrong and nothing happens, but I am suspicious of Mark’s suspicious behaviors and fear for my early demise,” the note said.

Since his conviction, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that Julie’s letter can’t be used against Jensen, and granted him a new trial, which began on January 9.

The Ice Cream Truck Killings

On Thanksgiving morning in 2010, six people were shot outside Ruskin, Florida, with two eventually dying from their injuries. The alleged killer, an ice cream truck driver who is not being named per Daily Wire policy, originally went to trial in February 2020, but received a mistrial when the jury deadlocked 10-2, with 10 voting to find him not guilty.

The COVID pandemic delayed his second trial, which will now begin in late February.

Authorities believe the suspect committed the crime as revenge against the people who allegedly shot him a few months earlier while trying to rob his ice cream truck. The case against him, however, is apparently circumstantial, with defense attorneys challenging a key prosecution witness who originally pointed the finger at the alleged killer but subsequently plead the fifth. Prosecutors responded by saying the witness didn’t plead the fifth but instead refused to participate in the deposition, Fox 13 reported.

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