The triple first-degree murder case against Clem Beauchamp is so complex that it will take a few more months to navigate through a maze of reports and evidence from the two separate law enforcement agencies who handled the cases, attorneys told a judge Tuesday.
During a status hearing before Circuit Judge Richard Oftedal, Assistant State Attorney Terri Skiles and Beauchamp’s defense attorney Michael Maher said they doubted either one of them would be able to give the judge an update on where the case is until the end of summer. Beauchamp was arrested in September 2011 for the murders, eight months apart, of his 25-year-old girlfriend Felicia Brown and her two children, 10-year-old Jermaine McNeil, and 6-year-old Ju’Tyra Allen.
Brown had been reported missing since September 2010. And although her decomposing body was found in a landfill in August 2010, no one identified her until after the children’s bodies were found in March 2011 stuffed in luggage in a Palm Beach County canal.
Beauchamp, of Delray Beach, faces a possible death sentence if convicted in the killings.
At Tuesday morning’s hearing, Skiles told Oftedal that it would take months to work through the interviews, reports and evidence investigators from various agencies — including Delray Beach Police, West Palm Beach Police and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
“It’s extraordinarily voluminous,” Skiles told the judge.
Prosecutors have, however, already made public more than 1,000 pages of investigative reports in the case, including an interview with Beauchamp’s son where the boy describes helping his father dispose of heavy suitcases shortly before the children’s bodies were discovered stuffed into luggage.
According to the documents, Beauchamp told detectives searching for the missing children that Brown’s new boyfriend, a man named Mike, had taken custody of the children.
Beauchamp was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison in October 2011 for an unrelated gun charge
Oftedal, on Tuesday, set the next status hearing in Beauchamp’s case for Sept. 17.