Defense Attorney's Motion for Continuance Denied by Court in Delacruz Capital Murder Trial
SAN ANGELO, TX –This afternoon, Isidro Miguel Delacruz, 26, appeared before 119th Judicial District Judge Ben Woodward for his regularly scheduled pre-trial in the Tom Green County Courthouse. The court is preparing to move forward with jury selection for the capital murder trial later this month.
Delacruz is accused of cutting the throat of 5-year-old Naiya Villegas in September of 2014.
In June, it was decided that the McNease Convention Center would be designated as a 'court' by the county commissioners for Delacruz's jury selection, as over 300 potential jurors will be meeting on July 31 to begin the selection process.
On Monday, Delacruz’s attorneys Cowie and Reece made a motion for continuance for the trial because their previously requested motion for discovery yielded over 13,000 pages of law enforcement files and a dozen video taped interviews. They were granted access to the files on June 28, and just finished scanning the documents today. The attorneys disclosed to the court that only 10 percent of the files had been reviewed for content so far.
The Defense Council told the court that they believed their continuance motion was crucial in their attempt to discover impeachment evidence for the States witnesses before going forward with the jury trial.
District Attorney Allison Palmer told Judge Woodward that she believed the court should refrain from delaying the jury trial any longer and suggested the court review previous judgments for continuance in capital murder trials. Judge Woodward took a brief recess to review the cases, and came back with the decision to deny the defense's motion for continuance.
Woodward's reasoning, the Defense Council had started preparing for the trial three years ago; furthermore, he believed the additional paperwork from the motion of discovery would not present any further impeachment evidence. Woodward also believed that the law enforcement agencies would have presented the attorneys with reason to impeach a witness outside of this paperwork.
In light of this motion, it was decided that an additional pre-trial will be added to the court calendar for July 19 at 10:30 a.m., ahead of the already scheduled July 27 pre-trial.The State will also prepare a subpoena list to present the Defense Council to better prepare them for who the State will call as witnesses.
With no additional motions being presented, Judge Woodward called for closure of today's pre-trial.
Delacruz was then turned over to the Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office detention officer to be transported back to the jail.