Third trial scheduled in Ketchikan murder case

Posted: Friday, December 07, 2001

KETCHIKAN (AP) -- A third trial has been scheduled for an 18-year-old man accused of murdering his father even though prosecutors have not decided retry the case.

Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins set a trial date of Jan. 7 for Jose M. Mateu, charged with first-degree murder and tampering with evidence in the January 2000 shooting death of Jose R. Mateu.

Juneau District Attorney Richard Svobodny said Wednesday the case has been reassigned to him. Ketchikan District Attorney Steve West was the prosecutor for the first and second trials. Both ended in hung juries.

West said the case was reassigned because of a full calendar for Ketchikan prosecutors. Four murder trials are scheduled in the upcoming months, he said.

Svobodny said the decision on retrying Mateu will not be made until Dec. 12.

Defense attorney Louis Menendez objected to setting a trial date. He said it would make more sense to wait until the state makes a commitment.

Svobodny said a new trial is likely. Collins set a status hearing for Dec. 13 in Ketchikan Superior Court to hear the state's final decision.

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