Crime

Defense seeks time to transcribe interview in Pasco slaying case

PASCO -- Defense attorneys for a 31-year-old man accused of killing his son's mother told a judge Thursday that their interpreter needs more time to transcribe a police interview.

Gregorio Luna Luna was scheduled for a hearing at which a Franklin County Superior Court judge would determine if statements he made to officers after his arrest can be used at trial.

But Prosecutor Steve Lowe said he called off his two witnesses once he learned the defense wasn't ready to move forward.

Karla Kane and Shawn Sant, who represent Luna Luna, told Judge Robert Swisher in September that they want an expert to review their client's interview with Pasco police and transcribe it from Spanish to English.

Thursday, Kane said that their interpreter just received an enhanced version of the CD and anticipates 120 hours of work. She requested a Nov. 16 hearing to inform the court of the interpreter's progress.

Sant added that he doesn't know how their expert came up with that number, but said the man says there are hours of work for each minute of the video.

Luna Luna is charged with one count of first-degree murder for the May 24 death of Griselda Ocampo Meza. The 21-year-old mother died in her Pasco apartment from a single stab wound in the chest.

The couple had been in a seven-year relationship when Ocampo Meza reportedly ended it earlier this year. They had a 5-year-old son together.

Ocampo Meza received a protection order in early March against Luna Luna after telling the court that he had threatened to kill her or make her life miserable.

Prosecutors allege that Luna Luna took a key from Ocampo Meza's roommates as they left for work that morning in May, then broke into her apartment and confronted her. Her son was rushed out of the home by her new boyfriend while Ocampo Meza fought with Luna Luna.

Luna Luna was arrested later that day at a vacant east Pasco home.

Swisher also said Thursday that he has concerns about the upcoming election and, depending on the results, how it may affect this case.

Defense attorney Sant is challenging Lowe on Nov. 2 for Franklin County's top law enforcer.

Luna Luna previously has said he is satisfied with Sant continuing to represent him given the lawyer's potential conflict. And Sant has said "in no way will it interfere with his representation of Luna Luna."

"I don't want the results of the election to be used as the basis for a new trial date," the judge said. He told the defense to have contingency plans to fill Sant's role should he be successful at the polls.

Swisher said he needed to put it on the record that he plans to stick to the scheduled trial of Jan. 24.

  Comments