By NIKKI YOUNK
IRON MOUNTAIN - The jury trial for a Norway man accused of stabbing a law enforcement officer has been postponed in order to give his new attorney time to hire an expert witness.
Andrew Bray, 75, had been scheduled for a five-day jury trial on one felony count of assault with intent to commit murder beginning Jan. 13.
During a court hearing Friday, Dickinson County Circuit Court Judge Richard Celello said that he would decide the new trial date at a pre-trial/scheduling conference on Feb. 3. He indicated that the trial would likely be in May or June.
Bray agreed to waive his right to a speedy trial, even though Judge Celello pointed out that he would be kept in jail for at least another six months.
Defendants are usually entitled to a trial within 180 days of their arrest. Bray has been in custody since the stabbing incident on Feb. 10.
Bray is accused of stabbing Lt. Derek Dixon of the Dickinson County Sheriff's Department in the upper back with a four-inch blade. The incident occurred at the Pine Mountain Continental Cup International Ski Jumping Competition at Pine Mountain Resort.
Bray's attorney Elizabeth LaCosse, who began representing him on Nov. 26, requested the adjournment of the trial so she could hire an expert witness in forensic pathology. She claimed that the expert would testify that the shallow depth of the stab injury shows that Bray did not intend murder.
"It will support my client's claim that as soon as he felt resistance, he dropped the knife," said LaCosse.
Dickinson County Prosecutor Lisa Richards objected to the request. She pointed out that the case has already been delayed far too long, due to competency examinations of Bray and several motions by the defense.
"The People are equally entitled to a speedy trial," said Richards.
Judge Celello agreed that the case has seen several delays, but he did not want to deny Bray a fair trial. He granted LaCosse's request.
If Bray is convicted of the assault with intent to commit murder charge, he could spend up to life in prison.
At a Cobbs hearing earlier this month, Bray learned that even if he accepts a plea deal on a lesser charge he could still face five years in prison.
Nikki Younk's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.