Thursday, March 13, 2008

New Juarez prelim set


After more than a month of delays, attorneys representing 15-year-old Ricardo “Ricky” Juarez set a date in Superior Court yesterday to begin the second preliminary hearing for the boy, who has been charged with murder.
The hearing is set to begin on March 26, and according to Karen Atkins, Juarez’s legal counsel, could take longer than the first preliminary hearing, which consumed 12 days and was one of the longest Atkins has ever been a part of.

Atkins said she anticipates the defense’s case will take eight days to put on. Though Senior Deputy District Attorney Hilary Dozer did not lay out a timeline, it is likely his case will take at least as long as it did the first time around, which was more than nine days.
The hearing will be held in Judge Brian Hill’s Department 2 courtroom despite requests from Atkins that he recuse himself as the presiding judge.
Hill oversaw the first preliminary hearing, and at its conclusion, ordered Juarez stand trial on the charge.
But on Feb. 3, Judge Frank Ochoa dismissed the case, citing a technical error made by Dozer and the District Attorney’s Office.
As of that day, the voluminous amount of work done on the case on both sides had to be done over again.
Dozer had Juarez rearrested and recharged and the District Attorney’s Office opted to once again try him as an adult for the stabbing death of Luis Angel Linares, who was killed during a downtown gang brawl at the intersection of Carrillo and State Streets one year ago today.
Juarez was then arraigned for the third time and once again entered a plea of not guilty.
When he did so, a judge reassigned the case to Hill’s courtroom for the duration of the proceedings. Atkins objected, stating that she believed asking Hill to make objective rulings on a case he already heard would be akin to asking a jury to rehear a trial it had already issued a verdict in.
Atkins told the Daily Sound in February that she was seeking a meeting with District Attorney Christie Stanley, but would not comment on what was said.
During that same February interview with the Daily Sound, Atkins said she wanted to discuss with Stanley her decision to try Juarez as an adult. As it stands, nothing has changed with the charging document.
Dozer limited his comments yesterday, saying only that, “It’s going forward and we’re happy that it’s occurring.”

No comments: