DAKOTA CITY | Barring unforeseen circumstances, it appears Brayan Galvan-Hernandez will stand trial in two weeks for the death and dismemberment of an Emerson, Nebraska, man.
Attorneys met Monday with District Judge Paul Vaughan for a final pretrial conference before the trial, scheduled for Oct. 16 in Dakota County District Court.
Other than a minor modification in the legal code subsection that prosecutors will use in one of the charges that Galvan-Hernandez faces, the hearing consisted of scheduling issues and determining that Galvan-Hernandez will be able to wear civilian clothes rather than a jail jumpsuit during trial. He also will be unshackled in the presence of the jury, a common practice to avoid prejudicing jurors against a defendant.
Galvan-Hernandez, 19, of Wakefield, Nebraska, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, use of a firearm to commit a felony, accessory to a felony and abandoning human skeletal remains or burial goods.
He and Andres Surber are accused of shooting Kraig Kubik, 41, of Emerson, Nebraska, with a 9mm firearm on Nov. 1 and dismembering his body.
A jury pool of 150 people has been called for the trial, but Vaughan said some already have been excused from appearing. Lawyers hope to choose the 12 jurors and two alternates who will hear the case on the trial's first day.
"Generally, it's my experience that we can get a jury picked within a day," said assistant Nebraska Attorney General Corey O'Brien, the special prosecutor appointed to the case.
O'Brien told Vaughan he expected to call approximately 40 witnesses, and his case will stretch to Tuesday or Wednesday of the second week of the trial, which lawyers said they expect to take eight to 10 days.
Investigators responded to Kubik's disappearance on Nov. 2 and found a pool of blood near his car at his Emerson residence. They found a severed arm and leg in the trunk of a car at an abandoned farmhouse in rural Dixon County, about 24 miles away from Kubik's home. The rest of Kubik's remains were found three days later in a creek about four miles from the farmhouse. Autopsy results showed a gunshot wound to Kubik's head.
Surber, 26, also of Wakefield, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, use of a firearm to commit a felony and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. He has been declared mentally incompetent to stand trial and is currently receiving psychiatric treatment to determine if his competency can be restored in order to face the charges at trial.