Evidentiary hearing for murder suspect postponed yet again
November 16, 2012
The preliminary hearing into the evidence against homicide suspect Branden Riddle-Terrel has been pushed back yet again,over the strenuous objections of the prosecutor.
Riddle-Terrel, 24, of Petaluma, allegedly killed 33-year-old Ryan Roth just after midnight Feb. 23 at a residence at the 11000 block of Lakeshore North in Lake of the Pines.
The two men were at a gathering where alcohol and drugs allegedly were present when Riddle-Terrel, who had a no-bail warrant from Sonoma County for a probation violation, allegedly displayed a knife, then stabbed Roth multiple times.
Riddle-Terrel reportedly fled the scene in the company of a woman, who later exited his vehicle and was eventually arrested after a lengthy pursuit through Placer and Sacramento counties.
Riddle-Terrel has pleaded not guilty to one count of murder with a special allegation of use of a deadly weapon for Roth’s death. He faces one count of criminal threats against the female victim.
There had already been several postponements for the evidentiary hearing in Riddle-Terrel’s case due to financial issues and the hiring of private counsel; he is represented by San Francisco attorney Gregory Bentley.
Bentley asked for another continuance in Nevada County Superior Court Thursday for the preliminary hearing, which was set for Nov. 27.
“I’m at a loss to understand why this is necessary,” Nevada County Assistant District Attorney Anna Ferguson said. “Putting me in the position of having to accommodate a last-minute request is somewhat outrageous.”
Bentley noted he substituted in as counsel Sept. 7 and told Judge Candace Heidelberger he was working as fast as he could on the “voluminous” discovery.
Heidelberger granted the continuance but cautioned Bentley against further requests. The hearing was re-scheduled for Dec. 18 and is anticipated to last all day.
To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email email@example.com or call (530) 477-4229.