Jun 14, 2016

Alleged Sohum invasion suspect's trial in which co defendant is victim's son a go

Finally, no more continuances. Bret Swortzel was supposed to start his jury trial yesterday. That was put over until this morning.

Deputy District Attorney DA Stacey Eads is prosecuting the case and Mr. Michael Acosta  The alleged victim, Deborah Morton, whose son, Seth Morton is also charged in the incident is being tried separately.

The case is proceeding to trial and jury selection starts tomorrow in Courtroom 1.

Aug 7, 2015

Alleged Sohum home inasion suspect Bret Swortzel's jury trial delayed again, new date August 17, defense may still file for another continuance

Bret Swortzel's jury trial has been delayed yet again. This time his attorney, Mr. Michael Acosta gave a motion to District Attorney Maggie Fleming and Judge John Feeney in court while this case was called during trial assignment this morning.

Deputy District Attorney Stacey Eads, who is prosecuting this case, was present in the courtroom. Ms. Fleming is present on Fridays for the trial assignment calendar. Ms. Fleming said that the People oppose the defense motion and even though no courtroom would be available next week, she said the People would request this case "trail on a day to day basis."

She said that the defense motion to continue was late and that the reason given was new discovery, the DNA report, but that had been provided on July 7 and that the defense had that information for 30 days.

Ms. Fleming told Judge Feeney that the victim, Deborah Morton was present with her attorney Ed Denson in court and that "she wants this matter resolved". Ms. Fleming also said that she would not be able to contact any other witness to discuss this continuance request.

Mr. Acosta said that his client was prepared to enter a time waiver. Judge Feeney brought up the fact that according to the court minutes, Swortzel had enetered a limited time waiver and that "instead of trailing day to day" that his tentative decision was to continue the trial to August 17.

Mr. Acosta said that discovery was not the only reason for his request for a continuance. He said the People had added other charges and that there was a transcript from the co-defendant, Seth Morton preliminary hearing and that there was "conflicting testimony of witnesses."

"If you wish for a more lengthy continuance, you can file it in the home court, Courtroom 4," said Judge Feeney.

Ms. Fleming said the preliminary hearing transcript is a court document and that she could not provide it and that Mr. Acosta had to request it from the Humboldt County Superior Court.

There is a restraining order that Swortzel have  no contact with the two victims in this case.

The link to the last post (includes other coverage of this case); http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/07/defenses-request-to-lower-bail-for-bret.html

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