A Franklin County man charged last year with murdering a woman and mutilating her body is asking that his trial be held in a different county.

Attorneys for Vernell J. Loggins Jr., 38, of Pacific, recently filed a petition for a change of venue in his murder case.

A scheduling conference to arrange a tentative trial date is set for Thursday, Oct. 28, and the request for change of venue is on that docket.

However, it's unlikely that arguments will be heard on the venue request that day because the conference is set for 4 p.m.

Loggins is accused of stabbing Stephanie M. Fields multiple times and then cutting up her body and attempting to dispose of it by dumping it in the trash.

Loggins has been held on a $1 million bond in the Franklin County Jail since his arrest Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009, hours after the body of Fields was found in a large trash can beside a dumpster at the Monroe Woods Apartment complex. The woman's head and hands were not in the can, but were recovered two days later on the bank of the Meramec River near Times Beach.

Shults Case

Meanwhile, the first round of depositions are scheduled Tuesday, Oct. 26, in the case of a Washington man who is charged with murdering a woman in a Union city park last year.

Timothy D. Shults, 46, is scheduled to stand trial June 23 through July 1, 2011, for the murder of Deborah Marsch, 53.

Marsch was murdered July 3, 2009, in Union's Autumn Hill Park in an apparent random act of violence.

Investigators allege that Shults approached Marsch from behind, strangled her, then threw her body into the bed of his pickup truck and drove off.

Shults, according to reports, confessed to police on Sunday, July 5, that he killed the woman, then took detectives to a location off Judith Spring Road, west of Union, where they recovered the body.

Shults also remains in the county jail on $1 million bond.

The prosecuting attorney is seeking the death penalty for both Loggins and Shults.

Both men are represented by the capital crimes unit of the public defenders office.