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Suspect withdraws request to move murder trial
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Suspect withdraws request to move murder trial

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WEST POINT, Neb. -- The trial for a man accused of killing a rural Rosalie, Nebraska, man will remain in Cuming County after a request for change of venue was withdrawn.

Derek Olson's attorney made an oral motion to withdraw the request to move the trial during a hearing Monday in Cuming County District Court.

District Judge Mark Johnson will rule later on Olson's motion to suppress evidence collected from a cell phone during the investigation. Olson's attorney, Logan Hoyt, contends that the cell phone was seized without a warrant.

Olson, 29, of Oakland, Nebraska, is scheduled to stand trial March 11 for the March 10, 2017, death of Ernest Warnock, 64. Olson has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, accessory to a felony, use of a weapon to commit a felony, first-degree arson, and cruelty to an animal for the death of a dog that died in a fire at Warnock's house.

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According to court documents, Olson and his father, Jody Olson, were at Warnock's home to retrieve property belonging to Becky Weitzenkamp, who also was present. A fight broke out, and Warnock stabbed Jody Olson in the arm before Derek Olson stabbed Warnock several times in the neck and head and hit him in the head with a ball peen hammer.

Warnock's body was found inside his burned house the following day, and an autopsy determined that he was dead before his home was set on fire.

Jody Olson, 50, of Oakland, pleaded guilty in December to second-degree murder and is scheduled to be sentenced April 4.

Weitzenkamp, 43, of Oakland, was sentenced in October to 18-20 years in prison on one count of accessory to a felony. She pleaded guilty to buying a can of lighter fluid and driving Derek Olson to Warnock's house to set it on fire.

Jenna Merrill, 32, of Oakland, pleaded guilty in November to one count of accessory to a felony. She is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday.

Copyright 2019 The Sioux City Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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