A trial for a Kennewick man accused of gunning down a Pasco couple in 2008 has been delayed three months.
Ramon Garcia-Morales now is set to stand trial Jan. 5 in Franklin County Superior Court.
It's the second murder trial this week continued to the new year because of scheduling conflicts with other murder cases in Benton and Franklin counties.
Garcia-Morales is charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.
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Defense attorneys earlier this month also made an unusual request asking Judge Vic VanderSchoor to appoint a guardian ad litem for their client.
Garcia-Morales was found competent to stand trial, but defense attorneys contend he's not and say he doesn't communicate with them and can't help them prepare for trial.
They want a guardian ad litem to review the evidence in the case and a plea offer made by prosecutors to help determine what's in the best interest of their client.
In court Tuesday, Garcia-Morales didn't interact with his attorneys or the interpreter, didn't stand when the judge entered the courtroom and stared at the ground during the proceedings.
A hearing was set for Oct. 12 for VanderSchoor to decide whether to appoint a guardian ad litem.
Garcia-Morales and his younger brother, Jose Garcia-Morales, 26, are accused of going to Alfredo Garcia's Manzanita Lane home in December 2008 to confront him out of "financial desperation."
Ramon Garcia-Morales reportedly felt he was shut out of work in the fields and was owed money.
Garcia, 42, was shot and killed, and his wife, Maria Ramirez de Garcia, 38, was critically wounded.
The Garcia-Morales brothers were arrested 16 hours later in Idaho.
Jose Garcia-Morales faces similar charges but his case has been put on hold because he is being evaluated at a state mental hospital.
Jose was found competent to stand trial, but was sent back for evaluation after he started having issues in the Franklin County jail brought on by severe depression.
-- Paula Horton: 582-1556; email@example.com