Defendant waives preliminary hearing in Whitworth homicide

Written by Muleskinner Staff

By ANDY LYONS (WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) – One of the defendants charged in the homicide of a local bar owner waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday afternoon.
Ziyad Abid and his attorneys appeared before Associate Circuit Judge Wanda Sue Dodson, of the 17th Judicial Circuit in Johnson County.  Abid, along with Reginald Singletary, were charged Sept. 5 with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the killing of Warrensburg bar owner Blaine Whitworth.
Whitworth was shot and killed in his driveway Sept. 1 at 1006 Sunflower on the east side of Warrensburg. Singletary told police after he was arrested that he shot Whitworth with a handgun “at the request of Ziyad T. Abid in exchange for money from Abid,” according to court records.
Abid’s attorneys are Patrick Peters, of the Peters & Peters Law Firm in Kansas City, and John Osgood, of the Osgood Law Office in Lee’s Summit.
Singletary is being held at the Johnson County Jail on $1 million bond. Dodson ruled Sept. 6 that Abid be held without bail, agreeing with Johnson County Prosecuting Attorney Lynn Stoppy that Abid was a flight risk. He is an international student at UCM from Saudi Arabia.
During a preliminary hearing, there are typically five rights: The right to be represented, the right to testify in your own defense, the right to remain silent, the right to confront witnesses against the accused through cross examination and the right to make a recording of the proceedings.
“Waiving the preliminary hearing is not an admission of guilt in any way,” said Dane Miller, a criminal justice professor at the University of Central Missouri. “It is simply waiving a defendant’s right to have a judge determine if there is probable cause in the case.”
There is still a long journey before the case goes to trial, Miller said.
“In the ensuing legal process, normally there will be the pre-trial discovery process, motions for mental screenings, motions to suppress evidence and more as the case proceeds,” he said.
Singletary’s case review hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Oct. 17. His attorney is Norman Napier, a public defender from Kansas City.
The next hearing for Abid is scheduled for 10 a.m. Oct. 9 before Presiding Judge Jacqueline Cook.