The Stanislaus County district attorney's office has turned over investigative reports to Russell Jones' defense attorney, clearing the way for the murder case to proceed.
Jones, 47, is accused in the killing of 36- year-old Dena Raley-McCluskey of Modesto eight years ago. According to Modesto police, her remains were discovered in a shallow grave near Groveland in late October.
During a brief court hearing Thursday, Bernard Fairfield of the public defender's office said the prosecution had turned over the reports and he will review the evidence with Jones. Superior Court Judge Hurl Johnson set a Jan. 14 court date to consider the next step in the legal process.
Raley-McCluskey rented a room from Jones before she disappeared eight years ago. Modesto police arrested Jones on Nov. 1 after cold case investigators unearthed human remains on property owned by Jones' parents near Groveland.
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Police have said the remains are those of Raley-McCluskey but have not said how they tied her death to Jones.
Jones, a disabled mechanic, has pleaded not guilty and waived his right to have a preliminary hearing within 10 days. He is being held in jail on $2 million bail.