After nearly three years, Lincoln County District Attorney Daniel Hooge announced the murder trial of Jerry Elbert Hudson is scheduled to begin next month in the 7th Judicial District Court in Pioche.

The State vs. Jerry Hudson stems from charges against him for the home invasion and alleged murder in the death of 64-year old Carol Ann Hullinger, May 24, 2015 in Caliente.

Hooge said the jury selection phase will begin April 24 in the County Courthouse before District Judge Gary Fairman.

Motions for continuances by both the prosecution and the defense, and other issues, have accounted in part for the long delay. Hooge said Judge Fairman is the one who has ruled on all the motions for continuance.

“It will probably be a couple of days on jury selection,” Hooge noted, “and the whole trial will probably be about three weeks.”

Hooge said this will be the first murder trial he has prosecuted. “If it were a capital case, then defense council (public defender Dylan Frehner), would need to follow special requirements, but we are not seeking the death penalty.”

Hudson, 50, has been at the Lincoln County Detention Center since he was arraigned in Feb. 2016, charged with home invasion, attempted sexual assault, murder, and use of a deadly weapon.

When arraigned, the Record reported Hooge said, “This is an open murder, so it will be up to the jury to decide if it is first degree or second degree.” He also said he thought the motive was the sexual assault.

Hullinger was found in her apartment in Caliente on May 24, 2015 when a Lincoln County sheriff’s deputy was making a routine welfare check of the residence. A preliminary investigation ruled the case to be a homicide.

Hudson fled the scene, but on June 15, 2015, the Criminal Apprehension Team Task Force in Las Vegas located Hudson and placed him under arrest. He was returned to the Lincoln County Detention Center, where he has remained since.

If convicted, he could face up to 35 years in prison on the home invasion charge, and a possible life sentence on the murder and sexual assault charges.