Judge considers evidence motions in Pernice murder case

Attorneys for a Northland man accused of killing his wife appeared in Clay County court on Monday seeking to have several police warrants in the case kept secret.

Shon Pernice faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of Renee Pernice, who disappeared in January 2009.

Defense attorney Eric Vernon said evidence obtained by detectives who searched two vehicles and the Pernice residence should not be admitted when the criminal trial begins Feb. 27. Vernon said investigators improperly seized the family’s vehicles.

During the search of the family home, investigators removed dozens of bags of evidence, including firearms and computer equipment.

The affidavit for the search warrant stated that Shon Pernice had made several inconsistent statements about his wife’s disappearance. However, Vernon said Monday that his client had agreed to cooperate with investigators.

Pernice remains in jail nearly three years after his 35-year-old wife disappeared. Her body has not been found, but authorities say evidence indicates she was murdered.

Vernon also presented evidence that a federal prisoner has allegedly confessed to killing Renee Pernice. Clay County Prosecutor Daniel White said that the alleged confession should not be admissible.

Circuit Judge Shane T. Alexander said he would consider the motions and scheduled another hearing for Dec. 9.