By ADAM COATES
A Putnam County man who fled to Venezuela to avoid child molestation charges will not stand trial as scheduled on Nov. 28.
Putnam Circuit Court Senior Judge Diana LaViolette ordered the trial for Thomas Jerry Hudson, 75, be moved to Jan. 16 in response to a request by his attorney Scott Adams.
The judge said she was reluctant to grant the request because the molestation case dates back to 2004.
She approved the request after Adams said he had not had time, prior to Thursday's hearing, to meet with six witnesses called by Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter in the case.
The judge noted that Thursday was the last opportunity Hudson had to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecutor, but Adams said his client intends to go through with the trial. He has until Jan. 2 to change his plea to guilty, if he so chooses, the judge said.
Hudson is being held, without bond, in the Putnam County Jail.
He recently stood trial in federal court on passport fraud charges relating to his escape to Venezuela in July of 2005.
Hudson was accused of molesting a 7-year-old relative in 2004 and was officially charged at the time, however, he never stood trial.