The trial of Corey Binderim — a Clay County contractor who is charged with first-degree murder in the killing of a client, Susan Mauldin — was set to begin Thursday with jury selection, but it has been delayed indefinitely.
The reason: more than two dozen motions filed by the defense, which were heard in court on Wednesday.
The defense is asking the judge to block the prosecution from seeking the death penalty and to declare Florida’s death penalty unconstitutional.
Binderim’s defense attorneys say that the prosecution’s arguments are vague and arbitrary and that they feel society has evolved from that penalty.
“The death penalty hasn’t not only become cruel but unusual — 27 out of 50 states still allow the death penalty, 36 haven’t carried them out, and Florida hasn’t carried one out in three years,” said defense attorney Randall Richardson.
The state argues that capital punishment is constitutional and that all aggravators against Binderim were held constitutional in other cases.
Binderim’s lawyers have also filed motions regarding jury selection, victim impact evidence, and to bar the prosecution from showing any photos it deems inflammatory.
The defense wants to show pictures of the victim at the crime scene during jury selection to see which potential jurors could handle it. The state says both sides discuss with jurors the evidence they will see during the trial.
“The state does not believe it’s appropriate to show the photos that have not been introduced into evidence to the jury during jury selection,” said prosecutor Pamela Hazel.
The judge didn’t make any rulings Wednesday on the motions. News4JAX was told that those could come closer to trial. And with a pretrial pushed to the end of November, it’s possible the trial won’t happen until sometime next year.
The state currently has over 200 witnesses on its list. The defense said it has depositions scheduled on Oct. 20, and the state said it has more depositions to get through, as well, which is why the defense asked the judge not to set a trial date.
Binderim, 47, was back in court for Wednesday’s hearing. He was engaged, asking his attorneys questions and seemingly paying close attention.
He has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and burglary charges in the disappearance and death of Mauldin, a British widow who was reported missing from her Fleming Island home in October 2019.
Investigators suspect Binderim was the last person to have seen Mauldin alive.
Court records show Binderim was hired to complete about $12,000 work of remodeling work on Mauldin’s home prior to her disappearance. Documents released by prosecutors say he repeatedly failed to show up for work and finish the job.
Mauldin’s remains were recovered from a Folkston, Georgia, landfill about three months after her disappearance.
According to court documents, Binderim bought concrete and heavy-duty construction bags on Oct. 24, 2019, a day before Mauldin was reported missing. He’s also accused of dumping 300 pounds of materials at a landfill the same day.