Christina Dent's murder-for-hire trial has been moved up seven weeks to Oct. 19.

Attorneys announced Thursday that Dent's previous trial setting of Dec. 7 won't work because of her right to a speedy trial. The U.S. Constitution requires trials be held within 120 days of arrest.

Dent, 28, of Ottawa faces 20-40 years in prison with no possibility of probation if convicted of solicitation of murder for hire. Prosecutors allege she agreed on June 3 to pay a hit man (actually an undercover police officer) $7,000 to kill her estranged husband, 29-year-old Jacob Dent.

Judge Cynthia M. Raccuglia agreed to reschedule the case nearly two months ahead. Dent will next appear Oct. 15.

Public defender Tim Cappellini also dropped a potential bombshell during Thursday's appearance.

Dent, he said, might seek an affirmative defense: a line of argument that may include insanity, self-defense, defense of others, necessity or duress.

Under an affirmative defense, a defendant admits to the elements of a crime but then shows or attempts to show a lack of criminal responsibility. In a murder/manslaughter case, for example, a defendant might acknowledge killing someone but then try to prove it was a kill-or-be-killed scenario.

Cappellini would not elaborate on the grounds for such a defense but said he anticipated the accompanying motion could be filed as early as today.

Dent is being held on $500,000 bond and needs to post $50,000 in cash to be released from La Salle County Jail.

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