The two defendants in a murder-for-hire case will go on trial October 2024

The two remaining defendants in a cross-country murder-for-hire case five years ago in the Northeast Kingdom will go on trial in October 2024. The man who police say ordered the hit, Serhat D. Gumrukcu, 39, of Los Angeles, and one of the chief organizers,  Berk Eratay, 36, of Las Vegas, appeared in U.S. District Court in Burlington on Friday afternoon by video from prisons where they are detained. Chief Federal Judge Geoffrey W. Crawford said he was hoping to get the trial underway by early next year and by June 2024 at the latest. The defense pushed back for a little more time. The prosecution and the defense said there is a considerable amount of evidence and information from the investigation that has been supplied; there is much more to come. Crawford said he expects to retire by September 2024 as a full-time judge but will take Senior Status. There also is some question as to whether the trial, which could last up to a month, will be in Rutland or in Burlington.