One murder trial trumps another - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

One murder trial trumps another

Posted: Updated:

PASCO, WA-One murder trial has delayed another.

A Franklin County judge Tuesday agreed to push back the trial of Jose Garcia Morales until mid-March to accommodate public defender Shelly Ajax, who also represents Gregorio Luna Luna, scheduled to go on trial next month for the stabbing death of his ex-girlfriend.

Pasco Police arrested Morales and his brother Ramon Garcia Morales in December 2008. Prosecutors say the brothers shot and killed a man who had refused to hire the men as farm workers. The man's wife was also critically wounded and remains in a wheelchair.

Last year a jury convicted Ramon Garcia Morales, but the judge suspended Jose Garcia Morales' case after declaring Morales mentally incompetent to stand trial.

After a follow up exam, doctors at Eastern State Hospital last month determined Morales' mental state had improved and prosecutors successfully filed a motion to put Morales on trial.

Morales' attorneys say their client continues refuses to speak. Tuesday's court hearing was delayed when corrections officers said Morales lie in a fetal position and refused to come to court. Officers handcuffed Morales to a wheelchair and brought him to court.

HD DOPPLER 6i
/