While federal prosecutors said they would be ready by Sept. 12 to start picking a jury in the trial of the man accused of murdering 11 Jews in the Tree of Life building, defense attorneys said they wouldn’t be prepared until the end of 2023.
During an April 6 status conference on Zoom, U.S. District Judge Robert Colville pressed the parties to come up with a timeline for the next six months, the Post-Gazette reported.
The status conference was the first time Colville met with the attorneys since he took over the case from Judge Donetta Ambrose, who retired in February.
Colville didn’t impose any deadlines, according to the Post-Gazette, but asked the lawyers to file briefs on their anticipated timelines by April 12.
It has been 3½ years since the deadly Oct. 27, 2018, attack, in which congregants of Tree of Life, New Light and Dor Hadash were killed, and six other people were injured, including four police officers.
Last month, Colville denied a motion by the defense to transfer the case out of Pittsburgh because of negative publicity against the defendant.
At the conference, the prosecution said it would be ready for trial on Oct. 19 after jury selection on Sept. 12, the Post-Gazette reported, noting that some dates could be adjusted to accommodate Jewish holidays.
An attorney for the defense said her team was “a long way from having a trial-ready presentation.” After being pressed for a date, she suggested late 2023, according to the Post-Gazette.
On April 5, Colville denied an earlier motion by the defendant to dismiss his indictment based on his claim that the makeup of the grand jury was flawed because Black and Hispanic people were underrepresented in the jury pool. PJC
— Toby Tabachnick