Moreau trial could begin in August
Vail CO Colorado
EAGLE, Colorado – District Court Judge R. Thomas Moorhead tentatively set a new trial date for the case against Richard “Rossi” Moreau for Aug. 26, the third trial delay in the case in which Moreau is charged with first degree murder for the Nov. 7, 2009 shooting in West Vail.
District Attorney Mark Hurlbert requested the August date after Moorhead said December would be the earliest available trial date. Chief District Attorney Steve Mallory said the District Attorney’s Office could move another trial in order to give the Moreau trial priority.
“We want this trial set as soon as possible,” Hurlbert said.
Hurlbert left the courtroom to talk to Lani Kitching, the widow of victim Gary Kitching, about which trial dates would be acceptable to her.
“She does object at this point to the later dates, but we understand if it has to be in December, it has to be in December,” Hurlbert said.
Moorhead ruled to reschedule the trial for Aug. 26 through Sept. 9, with Labor Day as an intervening holiday, but also ruled to keep Dec. 2 through Dec. 16 open should another postponement be necessary.
Public Defender Dana Christiansen said defense expert witnesses had already confirmed they would be available in December, but he had no idea as of Wednesday whether those experts could make it to an August-September trial.
The latest delay is due to the availability of reports from the court-ordered state mental health evaluation. Moreau was transported to Pueblo earlier this month for the evaluation. As of Wednesday, Mallory said he didn’t know if the state’s reports would be available prior to June 30, the date the state hospital previously gave.
If that is still the time frame in which the reports will be available, Christiansen said the defense would not be able to prepare in time for the July 8 trial date.
Rather than waiting to reschedule, both the defense and prosecution decided to reschedule the trail at Wednesday’s hearing while the earlier dates were still available. Had they waited another few weeks to reschedule, Moorhead said there wouldn’t be dates available until March or April of 2012.
If a new trial date is set six months or longer from when Moreau last waived his right to a speedy trial, he must waive the right again. He last waived his right to a speedy trial in March, and Christiansen said Wednesday he was ready to waive that right again on Moreau’s behalf if necessary.
Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.