FORMER soldier Colin Reeves, accused of murdering a couple who lived next door to him in Norton Fitzwarren, appeared at Exeter Crown Court by video link from the city’s prison this morning and was remanded in custody by Judge Peter Johnson. No application for bail was made.
Reeves, aged 34, of Dragon Rise, is accused of murdering Jennifer and Stephen Chapple while their children slept upstairs in their home in same street at 9.45pm on Sunday, November 21.
Stephen, aged 34, and Jennifer, aged 33, died as a result of multiple stab wounds.
Judge Johnson set a date for a provisional date for a five or six-day trial in front of a High Court judge at Bristol Crown Court on April 26, 2022.
He remanded Reeves until a plea and trial preparation hearing in Bristol on December 23.
Mr Adam Feest, QC, prosecuting, said the complete case against Reeves will be filed by January 13.
Miss Fiona Elder, defending, said Reeves is to be seen by a psychiatrist who specialises in post-traumatic stress disorder in former servicemen and may not be able to enter a plea until a report is received.
Reeves spoke only to confirm his name at the start of the hearing and to confirm he understood what had happened at the end.
The judge asked him: “Have you been able to follow?” Reeves replied: “Yes, it has been very clear, thank you, sir.”
Several members of Reeves’ family were present in the public gallery and called out ‘Love you, Colin’ at the end of the hearing.
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