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Coroner: Man scheduled for trial this week is dead

10-11-2011 California:

A California man set to go on trial for child molesting in Brown County this week is dead.

Deputy Coroner Jeff Cameron with the Kern County Coroner’s Office in California confirmed Monday that 70-year-old Richard Wayne Hyde died inside his home in Bodfish, Calif., at 4:05 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9.

The deputy coroner stated the official cause of death was pending, but early indications were that Hyde suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Prosecutor Jim Oliver could not be reached for comment Monday on what might happen next in the case, but prospective jurors were told late Monday that their services would no longer be needed on Wednesday, Oct. 12.

Defense attorney Frederick Turner declined to comment Monday.

Hyde’s arrest two years ago stemmed from allegations that he sexually assaulted a 9-year-old girl in Brown County.

Hyde, who was free on bail, was charged with three counts of child molesting, two Class A felonies that carry a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison and a Class C felony that has a sentencing range of two to eight years. ..Source.. by Kevin Lilly, Brown County Democrat

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