Trial setting conference continued in murder case
McElrath and James appeared in Lassen Superior Court Monday, July 9 with their attorneys, Bud Landreth and Larry Barnes.
According to visiting judge John T. Ball, the fact the defendants are planning a motion for change of venue and have retained an individual to start gathering the necessary information for that motion and that the work will not be completed for 90 days, the consensus was nothing could be furthered by motions or hearings in the matter.
As a result, the trial setting conference was placed on the calendar for 11 a.m. Oct. 22.
Ball’s announcement came after he met with the defendants’ counsel and Lassen County District Attorney Bob Burns.
Burns expressed the sentiment he said he made in chambers, which is that the case move forward to trial at a more expeditious rate.
Ball said he understood that position and the court shares his feelings but recognizes the necessity of providing the defendants with a fair trial.
According to Ball, despite the desire of the DA and the court in moving forward expeditiously, it simply cannot be done under the circumstances.
McElrath and James are being held in custody without bail on charges of premeditated murder and conspiracy in the January 2011 death of McElrath’s estranged husband, Robert McElrath, who was an officer with the Susanville Police Department.
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