CLINTON — A possible new witness has led to the postponement of a first-degree murder trial set to get under way Monday.

Maurice Walker Sr. of Clinton was to be tried for the slayings of his ex-wife Renee Smith Walker and her boyfriend, Steve Kersey, in Scott County. But Maurice Walker’s defense attorney, Christine Dalton, made the motion to continue on Friday afternoon, asking for time to perform a thorough investigation.

The state was made aware of a new witness Thursday. The new witness allegedly claims an individual said he committed the murders. The motion stated that the “individual predicted the night before the murder that something big was going to be in the newspaper, and has threatened the witness not to tell anyone.”

The investigator for the public defender re-interviewed the witness Friday and followed up on leads in Clinton and Freeport, Ill., according to the motion. A complete investigation of the new information could not be completed before Monday, the motion read, and witnesses may be identified who reside outside of Iowa, and their testimony must be secured by a request for an out-of-state subpoena.

The state objected to the continuance, which was granted by Judge James E. Kelley. The trial has been tentatively rescheduled for May 8.

The bodies of Renee Smith Walker, 39, and Kersey, 32, were found with gunshot wounds April 13 in the Clinton apartment they shared.

In December the trial was moved from Clinton to Scott County after Kelley sustained a motion for change of venue made by the defense.

After a day and a half of jury questioning, 18 potential jurors had been excused, many because of pre-formed opinions about the case.

A total of 31 panelists had been put in place at the time the motion was made, 16 of which admitted being aware of the case before reporting for jury duty.

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