The lawyer for a Grandview man charged with causing his son’s death told the court Monday he needs to postpone the trial.
Mario Torres, 35, agreed to the delay until Oct. 30.
His attorney, Ryan Swinburnson, said he has a two-defendant murder trial in Franklin County scheduled to start July 24 and last at least three weeks.
He added that he hasn’t been able to spend as much time on Torres’ case as he’d like because there was a “huge uptick in cases” for attorneys on the Benton County Superior Court defense panel with two colleagues gone.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Tri-City Herald
Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller said his initial reaction was to oppose the defense motion for a delay because the case has been going on for a long time.
But Miller said he also was worried about the claim of ineffective counsel if the defense wasn’t ready for trial.
Torres is charged with first-degree manslaughter with the aggravating circumstances of victim vulnerability and domestic violence.
His 2-year-old son, Nicholas Torres, died at a Spokane hospital in December 2014, four days after he’d been left in the care of his father while his mother went Christmas shopping.
Nicholas’ death was ruled a homicide from ongoing abuse resulting in extensive brain trauma.
Mario Torres has been out of custody since April after posting $75,000 bail.