Santa Barbara- S County

Ibarra Murder Trial Delayed to November

One of eight defendants allowed to represent himself.

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - There are eight remaining defendants in the alleged, kidnap, torture and murder of Anthony Ibarra one year ago in a home in Santa Maria.

Ibarra's body was found in the back of a U-Haul truck parked in an Orcutt neighborhood.

The alleged motive according to prosecutors

The judge overseeing the unusual case has agreed with some of the defense attorneys to delay the trial of the Ibarra eight defendants to November 17 instead of early May.

One of the defense attorneys that asked for more time says, in this case at least, justice delayed is not justice denied

"There are some instances, surely not in this case, but there are some instances I've seen where that applies" says defense attorney Tom Allen who represents Reyes Gonzalez, one of the eight Ibarra defendants, "but generally the impact of this case, the calendars and the trial schedules, if we don't have delays it will be justice denied."

Allen says he and his fellow defense counsel for the eight defendants have been deluged with pages of discovery.

"Its pushing 11,000 pages and there are maybe close to 60 hours of audiotapes", Allen says, "so it's a massive amount of work."

One of the Ibarra eight defendants, Ramon Maldonado Jr, identified in court documents as a leader in the alleged Ibarra murder has been allowed by the judge to represent himself in all future court hearings and at trial which could mean more delays.

"He has to review all the paperwork, has to get it in, he's in custody", Allen says, "he will have the same ten thousand pages (of discovery), plus all the audio stuff, he has to get the assistance of an investigator, he may have the assistance of an attorney, but he's his own lawyer and starting from scratch."

Santa Barbara County Juvenile Hall Court near Santa Maria was selected as the best venue for pre-trial hearings for the multiple Ibarra defendants.

Tom Allen says Juvenile Hall Court will not work for a jury trial, citing among other things, a lack of a jury box.

"I assume the administrative office of the courts is looking into different places and I hope they consult the defense teams", Allen says, "because each of us will have our client and an attorney and possibly an investigator or paralegal, we want to be separated from the others and have a place where we can do our own writing and converse with our client without someone else overhearing."


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