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Burns Walk March

Brian Burns is led into court March 2 in Harrisburg.

HARRISBURG — The Harrisburg man accused of killing his wife last year will have his day in court later this month.

After a brief motion hearing Thursday in a Saline County courtroom, defense for Brian Burns and Assistant State’s Attorney Jason Olson agreed on a March 22 trial date.

Burns, a local physician, was arrested in March and charged with first-degree murder. Prosecutors allege he killed his wife, Carla Burns, burned her body and spread the ashes to hide the crime. He also faces charges for allegedly soliciting the kidnapping of Saline County State’s Attorney Mike Henshaw while in jail.

During Thursday’s pre-trial hearing, Bryan Drew, representing Burns, asked for a short continuance to allow St. Louis-based psychiatrist Angeline Stanislaus time to prepare a report that Drew said would be submitted to the state by a March 16 pre-trial hearing.

It was not clear what implications this report would have regarding Burns’ defense. Olson said that in order to plead insanity, Burns’ attorney would have to file before the trial began. He said this has been a possibility the state has considered.

“We have anticipated that defense for a while,” Olson said, adding that he has an expert in the wings to help him prepare his case should such a motion be filed.

Jury selection in the case will begin March 22. Olson said he anticipates the process taking most of that day. He said jury selection rules have not yet been established.

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On twitter: @ismithreports

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Reporter

Isaac Smith is a reporter covering Franklin and Williamson counties.

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