Nathan and Jaden Quintero’s murder trial was delayed by nearly two months after defense attorneys claimed prosecutors didn’t arrange witness interviews for them.
The brothers are each charged with one count of first-degree murder in connection with the Oct. 7, 2015 shooting death of George Garcia Thacker.
The 18-year-old was shot five times, possibly at close range, with his own gun. His body was found on West River Street within feet of his car.
The trial for Nathan, 25, and Jaden, 19, was scheduled to start on March 27, but defense attorneys Scott Johnson and Ryan Swinburnson asked Judge Carrie Runge to dismiss the charges.
“Your honor, I’m mad as a hornet for a couple of reasons,” Johnson started. “The last time we were here, the state looked the court in the eye ... after I had said, ‘I was asking for interviews,’ and they told the court, ‘Mr. Johnson got an email from some guy.’ ”
“Objection. Objection. Objection.” Deputy Prosecutor Frank Jenny interrupted. “Mr. Johnson knows he’s being untruthful to the court about all that.”
We have 20 plus witnesses that the state hasn’t allowed us access to. We want to get this to trial, but I also can’t risk being ineffective.
Defense attorney Scott Johnson
Jenny’s interruption was one of the salvos between the two sides as defense attorneys accused Jenny and fellow Deputy Prosecutor Dave Corkrum of failing to respond to emails about interviews.
“We have 20-plus witnesses that the state hasn’t allowed us access to,” Johnson said. “We want to get this to trial, but I also can’t risk being ineffective.”
The two deputy prosecutors, in turn, shot back that the prosecution offered to make the witnesses available, but the defense attorneys didn’t set specific times.
“The law doesn’t require what Mr. Johnson’s trying to tell the court,” Corkrum responded. “It’s their duty to go out and talk to these people. It’s not our duty to provide the time and place for those interviews.”
Johnson and Swinburnson shot back that the prosecutor’s office always wanted to participate in interviews of their witnesses before, and he wasn’t aware their policy changed.
After Runge said she wasn’t willing to dismiss the charges or release the brothers from jail, their defense attorneys said they needed to more time to interview the witnesses.
The trial was rescheduled for May 15.