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A brother and sister charged with killing the woman's husband were freed without bail from the Utah County Jail Monday while prosecutors continue to gather evidence for a preliminary hearing next month.

Julia S. Hazel and Troy L. Sidwell will return to 4th Circuit Court in Spanish Fork on April 15 for what is expected to be a daylong preliminary hearing. They are charged with murder, a first-degree felony, for the stabbing death of Larry G. Hazel, 32, whose body was found late Feb. 19 in his home southeast of Spanish Fork following a family fight.When deputy Utah County attorney Phil Hadfield said he needed another month to prepare for the preliminary hearing, Judge John C. Backlund said he didn't want to hold the pair in jail that long. Hadfield asked Backlund to keep bail at $50,000, the amount set two weeks ago by Judge Robert S. Sumsion, because he feared that once out of jail the two may contact witness and discuss the case with each other.

"There's been an awful lot of comment between witnesses, and we've been getting a lot of conflicting stories," Hadfield said.

Robert Collins, Julia Hazel's attorney, said his client has no criminal record, has three children, has lived in the area for more than 10 years and is not a risk to flee. Craig Bainum, Sidwell's attorney, said his client also has no criminal record.

Because Julia Hazel and Sidwell have no history of violence, are not likely to flee and have no means of posting bail, Backlund released them on their own recognizance. However, he ordered the pair not to leave the state and not to discuss the case with each other or contact potential witnesses.

"I don't think they're a danger to anyone else," Backlund said.

About 10:40 p.m. Feb. 19, county dispatchers received a call saying a family fight was in progress at 7637 S. Riverbottoms Road and a man was coughing blood. When police arrived they found Larry Hazel dead on the floor clutching a kitchen knife. The state medical examiner's office ruled he died from a single stab wound to his upper chest.

In an interview with the Deseret News two weeks ago, Julia Hazel admitted stabbing her husband but said she did so in self-defense. She said her husband was beating her and she feared for her life. Larry Hazel was charged with spouse abuse last year and in May 1992 was ordered to stay away from Julia Hazel for 120 days.

If convicted of the charges against them, Julia Hazel and Sidwell could be sentenced to five years to life in the Utah State Prison.