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Pheonix Prosecutors Move Trial Of Boyfriend Accused Of Murdering Arizona Teen
The body of 19-year-old Kiera Bergman was found in the desert after a month-long search in 2018. Charges against her boyfriend, Jon-Christopher Clark, were dismissed over disclosure failings.
The trial of an Arizona man accused of killing his teenage girlfriend has moved counties — and, according to the district attorney’s office, it was at their request.
Kiera Bergman, 19, was found dead in the desert after a month-long search on Sept. 3, 2018. Her boyfriend, Jon-Christopher Clark, who was then 23, told local reporters that Kiera left her Phoenix apartment following a fight between them on Aug. 4, 2018.
The day that authorities found Bergman’s body along State Route 85, Clark was being held at Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office on 22 unrelated charges, including aggravated felony theft and forgery.
The cause of death for Bergman, whose body was found 45 minutes from her apartment, has not released.
Clark was officially charged with Bergman’s murder on Sept. 11, 2018, according to Phoenix CBS affiliate KPHO, but the court dismissed the case without prejudice after the prosecutors failed to disclose certain legally-required information during discovery.
They were allowed to re-file charges against Clark if they could provide the court with sufficient evidence... which they did several months later, according to KPHO.
But with the second trial against Clark set to begin in less than a month, prosecutors in Maricopa County apparently turned the case over the to colleagues in Pinal County — who have asked for a delay, according to the station.
Loved ones announced the move on a Facebook page devoted to Kiera Bergman, claiming they were told that there were “complications with a former attorney on Kiera’s case.”
“It is still unclear who will take over the case and when the trial will finally begin,” the post stated. “We still continue to ask for prayers, as this has been an ongoing process for four years.”
Maricopa County prosecutors declined to tell KPHO what complications in their office necessitated moving the case to another county.
Clark’s trial is currently scheduled for Feb. 22, according to court records obtained by AZ Central. The Pinal County office has requested a continuance in the case until the early summer; a judge’s ruling on their request is pending.
Clark has lived as a free man since the first charges were dismissed, according to KPHO — but the family says they'd rather have results at trial than him back in prison more quickly.
“As much as I want it over with, and I just want everything to be done, I want them to have as much time as they need to go over everything,” said Bergman’s mother, Kiersten Bragg, told the station. “I would be devastated if we went to trial, we got a conviction, and then his side tried to appeal something and come back, and then we have to go through everything again.”
Kiersten Bragg has said Bergman and Clark had only been dating for three months before she moved in with him, as previously reported.
Clark previously denied any involvement with Bergman’s disappearance, claiming, “I love Kiera with all my heart. I want Kiera to come home.”