Lara murder trial pushed back to October 2018

Defense attorneys said they needed more time

BEND, Ore. - Edwin Lara, the Redmond man accused of aggravated murder in the July 2016 killing of Bend resident Kaylee Sawyer, will go on trial on Oct. 8, 2018, nearly a year later than originally scheduled, a judge decided Wednesday.

Deschutes County Circuit Judge Michael Adler set the new trial date during a roughly 20-minute hearing Wednesday morning, attended by Lara on video hookup from the county jail.

Adler had agreed last month to a request by defense attorneys to postpone the trial, which had been scheduled for this October, but held off on setting a new trial date.

The defense team said it needed another 12 to 18 months to investigate new documents received from prosecutors through discovery. They noted the case's added complexity because Lara is a foreign national who lived in Honduras until he was 11 and while a legal permanent resident is also a Honduran citizen.

The 31-year-old former COCC security guard faces four counts of aggravated murder. He is accused of abducting the 23-year-old Sawyer as she was walking home, killing her and dumping her body in a canyon west of Redmond.

District Attorney John Hummel announced earlier he will seek the death penalty in the case.

Lara's trial is expected to take nine weeks, after jury selection which itself is expected to take eight to nine weeks

Adler also scheduled a five-day hearing to begin July 10th of this year on motions in the case.

The judge has previously issued motions strictly limiting what attorneys can say publicly about the closely watched case, and also has prohibited reporters’ use of social media during proceedings in the matter.

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