By Alexie Villegas Zotomayor
As they need more time to effectively and adequately prepare a defense, Mariana fruit bat poaching case co-defendants David A. Santos and Albert Taitano asked the federal court to move their jury trial from April 17 to Oct. 7, 2013.
Through their counsels Bruce Berline and Michael Dotts, the defendants explained that the requested continuance “outweighs the best interests of the public and the defendants in a speedy trial and thus will serve the ends of justice.”
For the defendants, there is extensive discovery which includes numerous forensic tests and analysis on the evidence collected.
There were 33 individual forensic reports generated.
The reports included — “without limitation” — reports on firearm/toolmark identification, multiple veterinary medical exams and autopsies conducted on the bats and other animals, fingerprint analysis, morphology, DNA analysis, extraction of pictures from memory cards, cameras and compact discs, chemical analysis, tissue and blood analysis.
The defendants said they filed various motions including one for a full evidentiary hearing.
They also requested the hiring of consultants and experts, at government expense, to assist them in the review of the forensic tests and reports contained in the discovery and to assist during the Daubert hearing and jury trial.
For the defendants, the experts would not be available for the trial on April 17.
They said that even if the experts were available on that date, they would not be prepared for the trial.
The defendants also anticipated filing additional motions once the court approves the experts.
Santos and Taitano also asked the court for more time to obtain material eyewitnesses and consult with these witnesses in preparation for pre-trial motions, a Daubert hearing and the jury trial. More....