Jurors in the Aug. 12 church shooting case will be brought in from Greene County, Mo., for a trial, set to begin in June.
A change of venue request has been granted for a Neosho man accused of murder in the wake of the deadly Aug. 12 church shooting.
During a pre-trial conference Monday, Presiding Judge Timothy Perigo granted a request from Eiken Elam Saimon’s legal counsel for a change of venue in the case. However, Perigo ordered that prospective jurors in the upcoming June murder trial be drawn from Greene County. Saimon’s trial is to begin June 23.
Saimon is accused of murdering three Micronesian pastors — Kernel Rehobson, Intenson Rehobson and Kuhpes Jesse Ikosia on Aug. 12. He also faces four counts of first degree assault, a felony charge of armed criminal action, and a charge of felonious restraint.
Saimon is accused of entering the church and opening fire on the congregation.
Kernel Rehobson was senior pastor of a Micronesian congregation which gathered at the church for worship on Sunday afternoons, while Intenson Rehobson and Ikosia were pastors. Several other members of the congregation were injured in the shooting incident.
Saimon surrendered to authorities after briefly holding the congregation hostage.
Saimon, a native of Pohnpei, was not a member of the congregation. Saimon is also charged with second-degree statutory rape and second degree statutory sodomy in connection with an incident that took place two days before the shooting.
Saimon is accused of sexually assaulting his 14-year-old niece because she and some of her friends allegedly used his car without his permission, authorities have told the Daily News.
Saimon will be back in court Dec. 17 for pre-trial conferences in both cases.
Neosho Daily News