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Trial in Halloween murder continued to next year

Case of ‘good Samaritan’ murder now more than 2 years old

Posted: November 5, 2013 2:58 p.m.
Updated: November 5, 2013 2:58 p.m.

SANTA CLARITA - A judge Tuesday rescheduled a court hearing to next year in the case of three young men charged with murdering a “good Samaritan” on Halloween in 2011.

Diamonte Jerome McGhee, Eric Michael Edwards and Branden Travaughn Higgs, all now 19, were ordered back to San Fernando Superior Court on Jan. 17 for a pretrial hearing on the murder case that has languished more than two years.

A date for the trial has yet to be set.

On Oct. 31, 2011, Alejandro Sanchez Torrez, 31, was shot in front of his 7-year-old son after stepping in to help a man being robbed at a strip mall on Soledad Canyon Road east of Sierra Highway in Canyon Country, prosecutors have said.

The three defendants, who were juveniles when arrested, have remained in custody for close to two years awaiting their day in court.

Appearing before a judge every month on average, the three defendants became adults while in jail.

It was July 25, 2012, when San Fernando Superior Court Judge Shari Kreisler Silver ordered the trio to stand trial.

When the case hit the 18-month mark, prosecutors told The Signal they had been working “diligently” but that obstacles continue to impede progress.

Prosecutors have blamed court delays on pretrial issues, scheduling problems and, in July, a change of lawyer for one of the three defendants.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt




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