Trial date set for former trooper charged with murder

LAS VEGAS - A new trial date has been set for former Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper George Warner, accused of killing his wife in July 1989.

Clark County District Judge Jeffrey Sobel scheduled the trial to start April 2. The date-setting on Thursday follows a state Supreme Court order last December that the trial should be conducted ''with all deliberate speed.''

Warner, who had worked for the Highway Patrol for nine years, resigned soon after he was indicted on arson and first-degree murder charges. That indictment was later thrown out for procedural reasons.

A second grand jury failed to indict Warner, who has repeatedly professed his innocence. A third grand jury indicted him in 1994.

Sobel dismissed the case in May 1998 following an evidentiary hearing. But the Supreme Court overturned that decision in December.

Prosecutors have alleged that Warner doused a chair and ottoman where his wife was sleeping with a flammable liquid and set the furniture on fire. Mrs. Warner, 54, suffered burns over 85 percent of her body and died 15 days later.

Defense lawyers have said authorities at one point said tests showed no evidence of a fire accelerant, and Judge Sobel concluded there was no meaningful testing.


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