Scheduling conflicts delay Pasco murder trial until 2017

Kenyatta K.E. Bridges
Kenyatta K.E. Bridges Tri-City Herald file

Just three months into the year, the trial for a Pasco murder suspect has been pushed back to 2017 because of scheduling conflicts.

Kenyatta K.E. Bridges waived his right to a speedy trial on Thursday so a new date could be set Jan. 6.

The 26-year-old had been scheduled for trial April 6 for allegedly participating in the fatal shooting of Lorenzo “Richie” Fernandez Jr. in December 2014.

However, defense attorney Karla Kane Hudson previously told the court that she needs more time to interview other possible witnesses.

After reviewing their calendars and the trial schedules for the co-defendants, prosecutors and the defense agreed the next available date is in 10 months.

Kane Hudson noted that one of her witnesses, Professor Alan Hirsch with Williams College in Massachusetts, cannot come to the Tri-Cities in the fall because of his academic schedule.

Hirsch, a former lawyer, is expected to testify about false confessions and his opinion that an extremely aggressive use of a certain interview method was used by Pasco detectives.

Bridges is charged in Franklin County Superior Court with first-degree murder while he or an accomplice was armed with a deadly weapon, along with conspiracy and second-degree unlawful gun possession.

Deputy Prosecutor Maureen Astley has said investigators believe Bridges “played a minor role” in Fernandez’s death.

Fernandez, 22, was killed as he sat in his Ford Mustang at the Stonegate Apartments in Pasco.

Bridges’ cousin, DeShawn I. Anderson, allegedly was the “mastermind.”

Earlier this week, the 20-year-old Anderson rejected a plea deal with a recommended sentence of 30 years in prison. His trial is set for May 18 for first-degree murder and four counts of first-degree assault.

He also is accused of ambushing a parked car in November 2014 and helping fire almost 20 rounds at the four men inside. Three of the occupants were injured.

Fernandez reportedly knew the victims in that earlier attack.

Mary A. Faucett, Bridges’ wife, allegedly lured Fernandez to his death by calling him that night to meet up, knowing Anderson was planning to shoot the victim.

Faucett, 27, has an Aug. 15 trial date for conspiracy, first-degree rendering criminal assistance and making false or misleading statements to a public servant.

All three suspects are in the Franklin County jail.

Kristin M. Kraemer: 509-582-1531, @KristinMKraemer