The jury trial of a New Windsor man charged in connection with the 2016 murder of his live-in girlfriend, Kandi Gerber, is scheduled to begin Monday.
Bret Michael Wheeler, 26, formerly of the 2000 block of Dennings Road, is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree assault, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree assault and accessory after first-degree murder, according to electronic court records.
The trial will determine whether Wheeler was a co-conspirator to Robert Theodore Bosley, 39, who was found guilty of first-degree murder and other counts in April.
According to previous Times reporting, Bosley, who was incarcerated but out on work release at the time of the killing, used a razor to slit Gerber's throat in the house in the 2000 block of Dennings Road where he, Gerber and Wheeler all resided. Wheeler allegedly escorted three other occupants of the house to a convenience store while Bosley confronted Gerber, according to police.
It is alleged Wheeler and Bosley then drove to the area of Muller and Old Washington roads where they left Gerber's body, police said, then drove to a house in the 700 block of S. Springdale Road where they were later detained by two deputies.
Last week, Wheeler's attorney's filed a motion requesting the state be compelled to grant partial immunity to Bosley so he could be called as a witness for Wheeler's defense, believing that he can offer "substantial exculpatory evidence" for some of the charges against Wheeler. Without this partial immunity, they believe Bosley will invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and refuse to testify.
Judge Barry Hughes denied this request. In its opposition to the motion, the state said that the court compelling the state to grant immunity would be a conflict against the separation of powers because the decision whether to grant immunity is a function of the executive branch, not the judiciary.
During Bosley's trial, Hughes signed a motion that compelled Wheeler to testify as a witness for the prosecution. Wheeler refused to testify and was found in criminal contempt of court.
Wheeler's trial begins Monday at 8:45 a.m. with jury selection. The trial is slated to last two weeks, with the final date being scheduled for Oct. 27.