A judge on Wednesday granted convicted rapist Spencer Scarber's request to continue a hearing on his pending prison sentence to allow his attorney time to prepare for it.
Fresno attorney Charles Magill, who is representing Scarber, said in Fresno County Superior Court documents that he has been busy dealing with the death of his wife, Laura Guzman Magill, an attorney who also worked on the case.
Guzman Magill died Dec. 27 after a long battle with breast cancer. She was 48.
To accommodate Magill, Judge Edward Sarkisian Jr. scheduled a Feb. 18 sentencing hearing.
Probation officials have recommended a sentence of 35 years to life in prison.
Scarber, 21 and the son of a former assistant chief of the California Highway Patrol, is accused of raping a 35-year-old woman in Squaw Valley in July 2011.
His case was flying under the radar until December 2012, when he vanished from his Squaw Valley home on the day he was to testify in his own defense.
On Dec. 14, 2012, a jury deliberated just two hours before convicting him in absentia of five felony charges of rape, burglary and robbery.
Two months after the verdict, Mexican authorities in Acapulco captured Scarber, who had dyed his hair, grown a goatee and possessed a false ID. His arrest led to the arrest of his parents, Kyle and Gail Scarber, and sister, Crystal Reynoso, on charges of aiding his escape. Their trials are pending.
In court papers, Scarber contended he didn't get a fair trial and that friends of the alleged rape victim beat a confession out of him. But Sarkisian ruled last month that Scarber received a fair trial and that his confession was voluntarily given to sheriff's detectives.
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