February 20, 2013
WARRENSBURG — A June trial date was set here Tuesday for the second of two men charged in the September murder of Warrensburg nightclub owner Blaine Whitworth.
Ziyad T. Abid, 23, a Saudi national, and Reginald L. Singletary, 27, of Warrensburg, were arrested after Whitworth was shot to death in front of his Warrensburg home on Sept. 1. According to court documents, Singletary agreed to shoot Whitworth in exchange for money from Abid. Both men have pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action and remain in custody.
Circuit Judge Michael Wagner set a June 4 trial date for Abid, with a pre-trail hearing on April 29, and a case review on March 18.
On Feb. 19, Wagner set a trial date of Sept. 17-20 for Singletary, with a pre-trial hearing Aug. 5.
Abid appeared in person in the Johnson County Courtroom Tuesday afternoon represented by Kansas City attorney Patrick Peters.
Following Tuesday’s hearing, Peters told reporters that he will have a clearer picture of the state’s case against his client following the March 18 review, when witness and evidence lists should be resolved.
However, he made it clear that the state’s chief evidence against his client is a statement Singletary made to police after his arrest.
According to court records, after his arrest Singletary reportedly told police he shot Whitworth in the driveway of his home the evening of Sept. 1.
“Singletary further stated that he killed Whitworth at the request of Ziyad T. Abid in exchange for money from Abid,” the release read.
Peters said there is no record of a transaction between the two men, and asserted there is no other evidence substantiating Singletary’s claim.
With Singletary facing trial after Abid, Peters said that absent a deal between the Singletary and the state, Singletary would likely exercise his right not to incriminate himself and plead the 5th Amendment, meaning the statement to police would become hearsay.
“I’m not sure how they have a case without Singletary,” Peters said.