Hearing delayed in Nevada County murder case as defense seeks evidence | TheUnion.com

Hearing delayed in Nevada County murder case as defense seeks evidence

Sean Bryant

The defense attorney for a man accused in the slaying of Stan Norman said Tuesday that video and pictures of the homicide could be on a witness’ phone.

Attorney Kelly Babineau, who represents 42-year-old Michael McCauley, said she needs more time to examine a terabyte of information downloaded from Bianca Price’s cell phone. She told visiting Nevada County Superior Court Judge Jane York Punneo she only received the information late Friday, and asked the judge to postpone a Tuesday preliminary hearing.

“I found out a little bit later,” said defense attorney David Brooks, who represents Sean Bryant, 52 — the second man who faces a murder charge in connection with Norman’s death.

Babineau also said a DNA test links her client to the accusations. She wants time to speak to an expert about that evidence.

Punneo sided with the defense attorneys and delayed the hearing until April 23.

“I realize this is very frustrating to some of you who may have come some distance for this today,” Punneo told several people who attended Tuesday’s hearing.

Assistant District Attorney Chris Walsh argued the information Babineau seeks doesn’t exist. Additionally, the defense attorneys could have accessed the cell phone records in October.

“We don’t believe a video of the killing ever existed,” Walsh said after the hearing. “We believe some photographs were taken and later deleted and cannot be recovered.”

Authorities have said that Norman, 70, was assaulted and killed at a Sadie D Drive home. He was last seen April 15.

Officers arrested Bryant on May 15 on an unrelated torture charge. They added a murder charge days later after finding human bones in a Sadie D Drive burn pile, reports state.

McCauley was arrested June 1.

Both remained Tuesday in the Nevada County Jail without bond.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.

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