The trial for a 28-year-old man charged in the 2008 shooting death of a Pasco father has been delayed five weeks.
Jose Garcia-Morales now is set to face a Franklin County Superior Court jury March 14.
He is charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder for fatally shooting Alfredo Garcia and critically injuring his wife Maria Ramirez de Garcia in their east Pasco home.
Garcia-Morales was scheduled for trial Feb. 6, but defense lawyer Shelley Ajax told the judge Tuesday that she has another Franklin County homicide trial a week later and can't be in two places at once.
Gregorio Luna Luna's trial for allegedly killing the mother of his young son is expected to last up to three weeks. Ajax said that would give her a week to catch up before Garcia-Morales' case.
Judge Carrie Runge granted the request.
Ajax also noted for the court that her client was found in his jail cell in the fetal position, not walking and didn't want to attend the hearing. He was brought into the courtroom in a wheelchair.
Garcia's older brother, Ramon, has been convicted by a jury of the same charges and is serving a 67-year prison sentence.
Men face trials for alleged kidnapping
Two Sunnyside men face March 7 trials for allegedly forcing a Pasco man into the trunk of a car and driving him out of town over demands for money.
David Gomez, 24, and Alejandro Jimenez Delgado, 26, pleaded innocent to one count each of first-degree kidnapping. Both are in the Franklin County jail on $1 million bail.
Jimenez Delgado's attorney, Ajax, told Judge Craig Matheson that her client's name and birth date were incorrect on court documents. Alejandro Valle Vasquez, 24, is actually his alias, she said.
A third suspect in the case, Mauricio Hernandez, 37, of Pasco, is in jail on $500,000 bail on suspicion of first-degree kidnapping. Prosecutors have until today to charge him.
Jimenez and Hernandez also have U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement holds.
According to court documents, the victim reported being abducted at gunpoint while dropping off a car for an acquaintance he knew only as "Mauricio."
The 37-year-old man said he was thrown in the trunk of a gray or silver Chrysler 300 and his wrists were bound with duct tape and tied with rope. He was taken to a dairy farm in Sunnyside, where Gomez, Jimenez and Delgado threatened to kill him if he didn't pay them or give them the title to a 1999 Hyundai he had dropped off, documents said.
The suspects allegedly had two AK-47 style rifles.
Gomez, known to the victim as "Fierro, was the driver of the Chrysler while Jimenez Delgado, who went by "Colima," was the passenger, court documents said.
The victim reported that he was taken to two different locations where the suspects said they were going to kill him, but the property owners said they didn't want the murder to happen on their property. He managed to convince them to release him with a promise to pay, and was released the next day, document said.
Detectives have found a second victim, and police and prosecutors believe there could be more victims.
Man pleads innocent to robbery charge
A 29-year-old man is accused of threatening to cut security staff at Pasco's Ranch & Home if they wouldn't let him leave with a stolen sweatshirt.
Daniel Thomas Crouchet of Kennewick pleaded innocent to second-degree robbery. His trial is March 7.
Pasco officers were called to the North Oregon Avenue store Jan. 6 for reports of the alleged theft.
Security employees told police they saw Crouchet enter the store with several other people, grab a Carhartt sweatshirt and put it on, intending to steal it, court documents said.
They confronted Crouchet in the store, but he ran. They followed him and struggled to subdue him, documents said.
While the security officers were struggling with Crouchet, he broke free and pulled an "oblong object" from his pocket, adding that he would cut them if they didn't stay away, documents said.
Later, when Crouchet was arrested, he allegedly told Pasco police that he intended to scare them so he could escape. He is being held on $100,000 bail.
-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 582-1531; firstname.lastname@example.org