HERALD STAFF WRITER
A Pasco woman accused of killing her mother last year was in a Franklin County courtroom Tuesday, but her hearing was delayed at the request of her attorneys.
Defense attorneys Bob Thompson and Peter Connick are challenging statements Tashia Stuart made to Pasco police in March, claiming the statements were obtained in an unlawful arrest.
They also are trying to get some evidence suppressed.
Arguments were expected Tuesday, but defense attorneys said they needed more time to get their motions filed.
Thompson said he conferred with prosecutors on the issue and they reached an agreement to delay the hearing to Nov. 1, but Superior Court Judge Cameron Mitchell said he was concerned the decision was made without him.
"Ultimately, it's up to the court to decide if those dates are going to be changed," he said.
Mitchell did, however, agree to continue the hearing to Nov. 1. Stuart's trial is set for Feb. 11.
Stuart, 39, is charged with first-degree murder with aggravated circumstances for the March 3, 2011, shooting death of Judy Hebert.
Stuart has claimed self-defense, saying she shot her mother after Hebert, 58, came at her with an ax.
Defense attorneys also said they're trying to make arrangements with the state to have their expert review 61 items in evidence for testing. The evidence is being held at the Pasco police station, but the defense expert is on the west side.
Deputy Prosecutor Dave Corkrum said the easiest way to handle it is for the expert to come to Pasco to examine the items, but Connick said the expert needs his equipment in his Kirkland lab.
Corkum said he'll have to check into that request, and Mitchell asked that any issues with the evidence testing be addressed by both sides as soon as possible.
Stuart's trial was pushed to February earlier this month because defense attorneys said the expert needed 60 days to examine the evidence.
They also need to serve Stuart's estranged husband, Todd Stuart, with a subpoena, but that'll take some time because he returned to California late last month.
Todd Stuart was accused of conspiring with Tashia to kill Hebert for her inheritance, but a jury acquitted him of attempted first-degree murder and first-degree conspiracy to commit murder.
Pasco man accused of stabbing his housemate still being treated
A Pasco man accused of fatally stabbing his housemate is still undergoing treatment in a state mental health facility.
Joseph Hart, 28, was not in Franklin County Superior Court on Tuesday for a status hearing. His lawyer, Scott Johnson, said he visited with Hart last week at Eastern State Hospital in Medical Lake.
A psychologist has found that Hart is not competent in some areas and recommended extended treatment. Judge Carrie Runge has ordered that the case be put on hold until Hart's competency is restored.
The state psychologist's report is due to the court in mid-November, Johnson said. Another court hearing was set for Nov. 27.
Hart is accused of killing Rodger A. Lincoln during a fight March 6 at the home they shared in the Sundance Mobile Home Park on North Elm Avenue.
The mobile home was one of several owned by Lourdes Health Network and is used as housing for people with mental illness.
Lincoln, 53, died after several stab wounds to his head and torso by a hunting-type knife, an autopsy showed.