The trial of a Columbia physician charged with raping a woman he met at the Black and Gold tavern on the Business Loop last year has been delayed, at the request of both prosecutors and defense attorneys.
The trial was originally scheduled to begin this morning. Boone County Circuit Judge Kevin Crane has approved their joint motion for a continuance, which means the trial will not take place until sometime in 2024. Boone County prosecutors have charged 38-year-old Dr. Travis Birkhead with rape or attempted rape and misdemeanor assault.
939 the Eagle News has been at the Boone County Courthouse for several hearings in this case. Defense attorney Kevin O’Brien told Judge Crane in open court in January that the woman wouldn’t leave Birkhead’s house that night, saying she “went crazy.” O’Brien has told the court there was sexual assault and that Birkhead was the one who called Columbia Police to ask the woman to leave his home. Boone County prosecutors tell a different story. They’ve told Judge Crane in open court that Dr. Birkhead is a danger to the community and that he has a history of threatening people. They’ve also said that Birkhead’s ex-wife, a different woman, is terrified of him.
Birkhead was released from the Boone County jail in May, after posting a $50,000 surety bond. He is hooked up to GPS monitoring, under orders from Judge Crane.