Defendant in Kodiak murder case gets new lawyer

Posted: Friday, September 13, 2002

KODIAK (AP) -- A Kodiak man charged with murdering his brother in 1993 has a new lawyer in a change that likely will delay the long-anticipated trial.

The trial for Rolando Medina, charged with murdering his brother Carlos, was expected to begin at the end of the month. But lawyers on both sides say it's likely it will now be sometime this spring.

Public defender Allan Thielen had to remove himself from the case because of a conflict of interest. Darrel Gardner, from the Office of Public Advocacy in Anchorage, will now be Medina's lawyer.

''I am brand new to the case, and it is the newest and last in line,'' said Gardner, referring to his case load and the likelihood of making a September trial.

Mike Gray, the district attorney said, ''The paperwork on this is nine-inches thick. The defense has a long road ahead of them.''

Carlos Medina was an up-and-coming businessman in the Filipino community when his badly bludgeoned body was found May 1993 on Pillar Mountain.

The case frustrated police and investigators until 1998 when enough evidence was gathered to charge Rolando Medina with second-degree murder and first-degree theft for allegedly taking $258,000 in insurance money from Carlos' widow and three children.

Rolando Medina was living in the Philippines at the time of the charge. His extradition to the United States took four years.

In May of this year, he was apprehended by authorities in the Philippines and handed over to authorities here.

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