The murder trial for three people accused of killing a Kerman couple and robbing them of their indoor marijuana-growing operation will not happen in April as planned, a judge said Monday in Fresno County Superior Court.
Judge John Vogt said there are too many unresolved issues dealing with potential evidence to set a new trial date.
Instead, he scheduled an April 28 hearing to resolve the issues.
Six people were initially charged with the July 2009 slayings of Gary De Bartolo, 61, and his wife Sandra De Bartolo, 62, inside their El Mar Avenue home near Kerman High School.
Jose Alfredo Reyes, Chris Bernard Butler, and Andrew DaWayne Jones, have reached plea deals and are potential witnesses in the trial of Leroy Anthony Johnson, 47, Dawn Marie Singh, 39, and Neko Wilson, 32.
If convicted of the July 22, 2009 killings, Johnson could be sentenced to death, while Singh and Wilson face life in prison without parole.
Sandra De Bartolo was a secretary at Kerman High School. Gary De Bartolo had owned an auto glass repair business.
Sheriff's reports say police and sheriff's deputies had the De Bartolo home under surveillance on the morning of the slayings after an informant tipped them off about a pending robbery there by Asian gang members.
Instead, the defendants are alleged to have shown up.
While Singh, Butler, Jones and Wilson waited outside the De Bartolo home, Johnson and Reyes went inside, the sheriff's reports said. Inside the home, the couple's throats were cut, the reports said.
Afterward, Butler told investigators that a bloody Johnson left the house through the front door, holding a knife.
In court Monday, defense lawyers discussed evidence that had not been turned over to them, specifically sheriff's dispatch logs and investigative reports concerning the female informant who tipped off authorities.
In March last year, the 5th District Court of Appeal said information about the informant and her dealings with law enforcement could be relevant.
Prosecutor Jeff Dupras said in court Monday that he has given confidential reports about the informant to the judge, who in turn said he will review the reports before making a decision on whether they should be disclosed to defense lawyers.
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