A hearing to determine if Matthew H. de Vore can plead guilty to second-degree murder has been delayed to Dec. 19.
Defense attorney Scott Johnson on Wednesday requested time to meet with his client and discuss a response brief filed Tuesday afternoon by prosecutors.
De Vore, 40, hasn’t yet been arraigned in Benton County Superior Court for the Nov. 24 fatal stabbing of Thomas R. Christian Sr. He agreed to the delay.
“This is a very serious and complicated matter, so I do think each party should have the opportunity to fully address the issues that have been raised,” said Judge Cameron Mitchell, who has been assigned to preside over the case.
The question before the judge is at what time is a plea officially entered.
De Vore tried to plead guilty as charged on Dec. 4, but prosecutors objected unless he admitted to an upgraded charge of premeditated first-degree murder.
Christian, 45, was killed with an 8-inch kitchen knife as he sat in the lobby of Kennewick’s Biomat USA with is girlfriend, Brenda de Vore.
Brenda and Matthew de Vore are divorcing after an 18-year marriage. Christian and Brenda de Vore had dated in high school and he recently moved to the Tri-Cities to reconnect with her.