Paul L. Caron

Friday, August 27, 2021

Seven Years After Dan Markel's Murder, Katherine Magbanua's Attorneys Seek Delay In October Trial Due To COVID Concerns

WCTV, Magbanua Defense Team Pushes to Delay Trial, Citing Rising COVID-19 Cases:

Magnauba (2021)Katherine Magbanua’s defense team raised COVID-19 concerns, asking to delay her trial in a Wednesday afternoon case management hearing. ... Magbanua’s defense attorneys, Christopher DeCoste and Tara Kawass, say current COVID-19 case numbers are concerning. Both are cancer survivors and immunocompromised.

During the hearing, they added that Magbanua had tested positive for COVID-19 ten days prior, but negative Wednesday morning.

They added that socially distancing from her during trial could unintentionally sway the jury. ...

The defense team also brought up concerns about masks in courtrooms. DeCoste cited the old practice of putting a hood over a person being hanged, so that the spectators wouldn’t have to see facial expressions. He argued the jury could be more inclined to convict Magbanua primarily because they could not see the bottom half of her face under a mask. ...

Judge Robert Wheeler denied the verbal request to continue the trial to a later date in court on Wednesday, but he instructed the defense to file a written motion about their concerns.

The trial date is currently set for October 4.

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