The Missouri Supreme Court elected Tuesday to hear the Dade County prosecuting attorney's appeal of a Southern District Court of Appeals' decision to grant a convicted arsonist a new trial.
On Jan. 26, the appellate court agreed with Scott Baxter's contention that there was no written evidence that he had given up his right to a trial by jury. Baxter, 26, Greenfield, was found guilty by Judge James Bickel during his June 2, 2004, trial in Dade County Circuit Court. He was sentenced to six years in prison for assaulting Melinda Bennett and burning her apartment on Sept. 30, 2002, according to court records. During the trial, Baxter's lawyer said Baxter had waived his right to trial by jury, but the appellate court judges did not feel that was enough.