The murder trial for the accused shooter of two from Salem was initially set for January 3 but has been moved to May 2 and Joe Hambel, 29, Salem, will appear before Washington County Circuit Judge Larry Medlock this Friday morning in a pre-trial conference. 

Five months have passed since Hamble was arrested for the shooting deaths of Valerie E. Dicus and Joseph R. Hobson.

Also, additional charges have been added to Hambel who was initially charged with two counts of murder. 

Washington County Prosecuting Attorney Dustin Houchin amended the two murder charges and added a burglary charge at a hearing on Dec. 8. 

Hambel is represented by Public Defender Mark Clark, who was appointed by Medlock last August. 

Last August, when asked if he intended to hire an attorney, Hemble first responded that he intended to hire an attorney.

After Judge Medlock repeated the question, Hemble admitted he could not afford an attorney.

Joe Hambel, 29, Salem, is being led into the Washington County Courthouse this morning for his first appearance before Judge Larry Medlock. – Photo by Becky White

Hemble told the judge he had not been employed for two years because of a workman’s comp related injury.

Judge Medlock assigned him a public defender – in this case – Mark Clark and set the pre-trial conference for Sept. 27, which was moved to November and then moved into January.

Hamble said he would plead not-guilty to both charges.

These charges carry a prison sentence term between 45 and 65 years each, said Medlock.

Hamble was arrested in August 2016 after he admitted to police that he had shot Hobson and the same gun accidentally discharged and shot Dicus.

The .32 calibur handgun used in the shooting was found at Hamble’s apartment in Aspen Meadows.

A family member called 911 after finding the bodies after midnight Saturday morning. Salem Police officers were first at the scene at the 304 West Small Street home.

According to ISP Sgt. Jerry Goodin, autopsies were completed Saturday on the victims at the Kentucky Medical Examiner’s Office in Louisville, KY.

The preliminary cause of death was gunshots wounds from a .32 caliber handgun.

Dicus died of a single gunshot wound to the head and Hobson died of multiple gunshot wounds, to the arm and torso.

The trial was also tentatively set for January 3, 2017 at 8:30 and has been moved now to May 2.