The case of 10 defendants accused in the August 1998 beating death of Sammy Resendiz in a Carson City motel room will move forward next month as lawyers present pretrial motions.
By March 31, all pending motions will be heard. A date for the trial has not yet been discussed. The remaining defendants face murder and deadly weapons charges.
Jody Hernandez, who has served as spokeswoman for the victim's family, said delays in the trial process are to be expected.
"We knew they would push it out as long as possible, hoping that people would not remember how awful that murder was," she said. "The important part is that there is justice in the end."
Motions from Julian Contreras, Rocky Boice Jr., and Lew Robert Dutchy will be heard Feb. 18.
Frederick Gene Fred, Sylvia Fred and Clint Malone will be heard March 27.
Jessica Evans, Elvin Fred, Jaron Malone, and Michael Kizer will be heard March 31.
The defendants ranged in age from 15 to 24 at the time of arrest.
A district court clerk said the hearings do not preclude the possibility of further motions, nor do they indicate an impending trial date. The clerk did say, however, that it is likely a trial date will be discussed.
The defendants, all out on bail, were alleged to have ties to a gang called the Rez Boys, but family members have said that is a common term for young men on an Indian reservation and does not constitute a gang.
According to Hernandez, Resendiz was a founding member of a gang called the East-side Tokers but had been "inactive" for a long time.
"His last affiliation was four or five years before his death," she said. "In the end he did his best to be a family man."
Hernandez said tension still runs high even 1 1/2 years after Resendiz's death.
Resendiz's two children, a boy and a girl, are living with their uncle who also has five children of his own.
Of the original 12 suspects arrested, two have pleaded guilty and received suspended sentences. Alejandro Avila pleaded guilty to gross misdemeanor conspiracy to commit murder and David Moyle pleaded guilty to a negotiated charge of conspiracy to commit battery with a deadly weapon.
At the time of his arraignment, Avila agreed to testify against the other defendants.
Hernandez said she respects the fact that Avila felt sorry and agreed to help in the prosecution.
"He was the only one who was genuinely remorseful about what he did," she said.
Fred Atchison, lawyer for Gene Fred, said the case has dragged out mostly because of scheduling conflicts. "Scheduling anything with 10 lawyers is an absolute nightmare," he said.