Mother of Jhessye Shockley has trial date delayed

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- The Valley mother accused of killing her 5-year-old daughter will get to wait a little longer before she receives a trial date.

On Friday, a Maricopa County Superior Court Judge granted Jerice Hunter’s new legal team more time to review evidence in her case.

Hunter, whose previous attorney stepped down last month claiming he hadn’t been paid, now has a pretrial conference set for April 15.

Hunter has been accused of killing her daughter, Jhessye Shockley, in what has become one of the state’s more high profile homicide cases.

Glendale police have alleged that Hunter killed Shockley in the fall of 2011 and then placed her body in a Tempe trash bin.

Hunter was first arrested in November 2011, but was released a few days later when authorities decided not to file child abuse charges.

Detectives would later receive a tip that Shockley had been killed and dumped in the trash.

Authorities spent four months searching for Shockley’s body in the Butterfield Landfill, which is just south of the Valley. They called off the search last June when they didn’t find Shockley’s body.

Shockley’s body has yet to be found, but police still arrested Hunter for a second time this past September.

She was charged with first degree murder and child abuse.

Hunter has entered a not guilty plea to both charges.