The second trial for a former Richland nanny has been delayed two months because her new attorney needs time to get up to speed on the manslaughter case.
Kelli A. Jacobsen’s retrial on one count of first-degree manslaughter in Benton County Superior Court now is set for April 6.
Prosecutors allege she recklessly caused Ryder Morrison’s death in June 2011 by inflicting abusive head trauma. The charge includes aggravating circumstances that the 1-year-old victim was particularly vulnerable and incapable of resistance, and that his death had a destructive and foreseeable impact on others.
Jacobsen’s trial had been set for Feb. 2. However, her longtime attorney Scott Johnson had to withdraw in late October for unknown reasons and Shane Silverthorn of Ellensburg was appointed.
On Tuesday, Silverthorn asked to push the trial out to June 1, saying he has five banker boxes of paperwork to review along with transcripts from the first trial.
Prosecutor Andy Miller said he understands Silverthorn’s position, but knows witness memories can get “weaker” as time passes and it takes an emotional toll on both the defendant and the victim’s family.
Judge Vic VanderSchoor went with the earlier date because there have been seven different trial dates set since the May 2013 mistrial.
“Let’s try everything we can to keep those dates,” he said. “We really need to get this resolved.”