The attorney for a man accused of brutally killing his ex-girlfriend and leaving her body in the Bourbeuse River filed a motion Tuesday seeking the recusal of the judge hearing the case.
Presiding 20th Circuit Judge Ike Lamke rejected a plea deal in the case of Cameron J. Hill, 28, Union, who is charged with the first-degree murder of Cassidy Hutchings in January 2017, according to Franklin County Prosecutor Bob Parks.
Under the deal, in exchange for a guilty plea the initial charges would be reduced to second-degree murder, and Hill would be sentenced to 25 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections, Parks told The Missourian that Judge Lamke stated the charge should not be reduced from first-degree murder.
Hill was indicted by a Franklin County grand jury in March 2017 for first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the stabbing death of Hutchings, 23, Villa Ridge.
He is being represented by the public defender’s office.
Circuit Judge Craig Hellmann recused himself from the case in July.
The Missouri Supreme Court is expected to appoint a new judge from outside of Franklin County to hear the case.
Authorities allege that Hill attacked Hutchings at Reiker Ford along the Bourbeuse River south of Union Jan. 19, 2017.
According to the probable cause statement filed by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Hill cut Hutchings’ throat with a knife before she fled from the man into the Bourbeuse River. Hill then chased her into the river where he stabbed her multiple times in the back of her head, neck and back.
Her body was recovered from the Bourbeuse River after 8 a.m. Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, when a passerby saw the body and contacted authorities.
Hutchings’ vehicle was parked near the river access, authorities said.
Police went to a home in Union in the 300 block of Springfield Avenue where Hill had been staying where he was arrested and taken into custody.
Hill had recently returned to the area after spending several months in Texas.
Hutchings’ family again has been critical of Parks and the plea deal.
In June, Cassidy’s father, Jim Hutchings, said the plea deal is an “insult” to his family and “second-degree murder is a slap in the face.”
Jim Hutchings contacted The Missourian Wednesday stating the family met with Parks once when they were told the prosecutor’s office would be seeking a life sentence for Hill.
“We never had another meeting,” Jim Hutchings said. “He has never been to court on our behalf.”
Jim Hutchings told The Missourian that Hill threatened his daughter through text messages and phone calls in the days, and hours, leading up to her death.
Hutchings said he wants Hill to serve life in prison with no chance of being paroled.
“The death penalty is too quick — he doesn’t deserve to be drugged out of his mind and not know what is going on when he dies,” he stated. “He should suffer for his life. We know prison justice would not do well for him.”