Trial delayed so new defense can prepare
A visibly agitated Carson City judge agreed to delay a four-year-old murder trial set to begin Monday.
“Just remember one thing sir, you told me you were ready for trial, that’s what you told me,” District Judge Michael Griffin said sternly to defense attorney Day Williams who was appointed last week to represent Rocky Boice Jr., after Boice fired attorney Allison Joffee.
Griffin set a new date of Aug. 26.
Boice, along with nine others — Clint Malone, Fred Fred, Lew Dutchy, Julian Contreras, Elvin Fred, Michael Kizer, Silvia Fred, Jessica Evans and Jaron Malone — stand accused in the Aug. 23, 1998, beating death of Sammy Resendiz in a Carson City motel room.
Trial dates for the remaining defendants have yet to be set.
In hearings last week, Griffin reluctantly agreed to allow the change in attorneys after both Joffee and Wiliams assured him Williams was up to speed.
Williams on Monday maintained he told the judge he “would” be ready.
“This man deserves a fair trial,” Williams shouted as he argued for a continuance.
District Attorney Noel Waters, who said he was prepared for trial, didn’t oppose the delay saying Williams’ lack of felony trial experience — three cases, two of those as co-counsel — and late entry into the case caused him concern.
“I have a real, genuine concern that if I am successful,” there are grounds for an appeal, Waters said.
“I, therefore, reluctantly agree,” he said.
Williams’ last felony jury trial was a prison escape. Janine Nish was accused of helping her friend who was in custody escape from the Silver Springs Women’s Correctional Center in Lyon County. The jury returned a verdict of guilty and Nish was sentenced to four years in prison.
He was appointed to represent Rocky Boice Jr., last week, after Boice fired Joffee.
Griffin also agreed to allow San Francisco attorney Lawrence Lichter to assist with Boice’s defense.
After agreeing to continue, Griffin asked bailiffs to bring in the dozens of potential jurors summoned in from the hallway so he could address them.
“I’ve decided based on what’s been presented to me that this case cannot be tried today,” Griffin told the packed courtroom.
He said each juror will be paid $9 for their appearance Monday, and a new pool of jurors will be summoned.
“It was not foreseen that this was going to happen,” he apologetically told the jurors.
Boice is charged with murder with the use of a deadly weapon, principal to battery with the use of a deadly weapon, principal to burglary and conspiracy to commit battery with the use of a deadly weapon. If convicted he faces a minimum of 40 years in prison.