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Burglary suspect withdraws guilty pleas; trial moved

Mar 19, 2013 -- 6:30pm

 

20-year-old William Artadi of Jackson, who last year agreed to plead guilty to 13 counts of burglary, successfully filed motions Monday to withdraw his guilty pleas and have his trial moved to Scott County.  Artadi’s attorney argued before Circuit Court Judge William Syler that he had good reason to believe that his guilty plea, entered in November, was binding in that seven other counts of burglary-related charges by the Cape Girardeau County Prosecutor's office would be dismissed. Artadi faced 20 counts of burglary, but that number was reduced to 13 through the plea deal.  Syler rejected the plea agreement in December because it didn't allow him to sentence Artadi to prison for at least 10 years.  His attorney requested a change of venue, referencing excessive media coverage as cause.  Cape Girardeau County assistant prosecutor Jack Koester accepted the defense's motion for change of venue, and Syler ruled in its favor.  Artadi is in custody in the Cape Girardeau County Jail in lieu of a $35,000 cash-only bond.

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