Murder case back on docket

LAWRENCEVILLE - A Lawrenceville man accused of knifing his younger brother to death last year is scheduled to stand trial this week.

Jason Pirkle, 32, is accused of fatally stabbing his brother, Tracy, during a drunken brawl last May.

Police believe the fight was triggered when Tracy Pirkle, 30, struck his wife, Brittany, after the couple argued about a misplaced wallet in their Hampton Square Drive apartment in Lawrenceville.

Family members have disputed that, claiming Jason Pirkle was fueled by alcohol and prescription pills when he launched an attack on his brother with a pocket knife. Both men lived in the apartment at the time.

Tracy Pirkle died in an area hospital from a stab to his heart an hour after the fight, police said. A witness told police the elder Pirkle was being pummeled on his knees by his brother, when he allegedly stabbed him six times.

The trial was set to begin in May when Pirkle's defense attorney, Mike White, filed a motion to have it continued, a tactic often used to extend preparation time.

Pirkle faces charges of murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime, according to his indictment.

Superior Court Judge Ronnie Batchelor will preside.