BEND, Ore. - (Update: DA explains length of delay)
A murder trial that was scheduled to begin Tuesday of a Redmond couple accused in the child neglect death of their 5-year-old adopted daughter has been delayed until early next year.
Estevan Adrian Garcia and Sacora Horn-Garcia were arrested in early April of last year on charges of murder and two counts each of first-degree manslaughter and first-degree criminal mistreatment in the death of Maliyah Hope Garcia four days before Christmas of 2016. They pleaded not guilty to the charges last August.
The state medical examiner said the girl died of emaciation. Authorities alleged lack of food and medical attention contributed to her death. The girl was Garcia’s daughter and Horn-Garcia’s stepdaughter.
Deschutes County Circuit Judge Beth Bailey on Tuesday granted a motion by Deputy District Attorney Kandy Gies to postpone the trial because a necessary witness, Medical Examiner Cliff Nelson, was unavailable due to a medical emergency.
Bagley reset the trial — now expected to last 7-8 weeks - to begin on Jan. 23, 2019, with pre-trial hearings scheduled for December and January.
District Attorney John Hummel cited two reasons for the lengthy delay in an email to NewsChannel 21: "The deputy medical examiner's injuries are significant and require months of recovery. And it’s difficult for the court to find available courtroom time time for a trial of this length."