MURPHYSBORO — Two people charged with first-degree murder in the death of Robin Stief were in Jackson County Circuit Court on Friday morning, but not much progress was made.

Robert Dennis, 27, and Tiesha Anderson, 23, are two of the suspects charged in Stief’s death, whose burned remains were found in a wooded area near Piles Fork Creek in Carbondale in August 2016.

Suspect in Carbondale burned body case forces attorney to withdraw, likely creating more delays

Dennis’ hearing was to give a status update on a fitness test to examine his mental ability to stand trial. Defense attorney Robert Bateson said a doctor still needs to complete an examination on Dennis.

Judge Ralph Bloodworth set another status hearing for 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 16.

Suspect faces more delays in Carbondale burned body case

About 15 minutes after Dennis left the courtroom, Anderson was brought in for her case management conference with her new attorney, Joseph Cervantez. Anderson’s previous attorney withdrew from her case after Anderson filed a letter with the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Committee calling his competency into question.

Mansfield has told The Southern that the disciplinary committee has dismissed the complaint as frivolous. 

Judge Bloodworth made sure Cervantez was in possession of all discovery information needed to review, because he had been appointed within the past 30 days. Cervantez said he was in possession of the needed materials, and has been working with Mansfield’s office to ensure everything has been turned over.

Another case management conference was set for March 9. At that time, Judge Bloodworth said the case will be set on a jury trial track. Bloodworth also informed Anderson that because Cervantez’s office is based in Marion and not in Murphysboro, he most likely will not be able to meet with her every day.

The third suspect in this case, Lauren Stinde, 24, of Carbondale, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in November 2016. During her court hearing Thursday, Stinde learned her sentencing hearing will not take place until after the conclusion of the other suspects' trials.

Sentencing delayed again for woman who pleaded guilty to murder in Carbondale burned body case

Authorities began the investigation into this case on Aug. 30, 2016, after burned human remains were found in the 900 block of East Main Street in Carbondale. Video surveillance captured three individuals — alleged to be Stinde, Anderson and Dennis — pushing a large trash can near where the body was found.

On Oct. 28, 2016, Stinde was arrested for her involvement in the concealment of the victim’s remains. She later confessed to detectives about her role in the murder and the concealment of the body.

dustin.duncan@thesouthern.com

618-351-5074

on twitter: @zd2000

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Dustin Duncan is a reporter for The Southern Illinoisan covering Carbondale.

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