Robert Davidson

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Man Charged In Oxford Deaths Seeks Trial Delay

ABERDEEN, Miss. (AP) – Attorneys for John Howard Strickland Jr. have asked a federal judge to stay proceedings in a wrongful death lawsuit until Strickland’s criminal case is resolved.

A judge has not ruled on the motion filed this week.

The 21-year-old Strickland, who now lives in San Antonio, Texas, is scheduled for trial July 24 in Lafayette County Circuit Court in Oxford on two counts of drug impairment causing the deaths of siblings John William Wheat and Sarah Katherine Wheat on Oct. 27, 2012.

The fatal vehicular accident occurred on U.S. Highway 278 in Lafayette County.

If convicted, Strickland faces up to 25 years in prison.

Frances Z. Wheat, the siblings’ mother, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Strickland and his parents in federal court in Aberdeen. No trial date has been set.