The prosecution filed a motion Friday for a continuance in the trial of Israel Herrera, who is charged with first-degree murder in the Nov. 22 death of Stephen Foster.
The 25-year-old was shot in the head while driving a friend’s van near the intersection of West Walnut Street and South Ohio Avenue. Herrera, 22, was arrested and charged with murder after he was caught running from the scene. Assistant District Attorney Debra Hutchins told the court that the state is waiting for ballistics and DNA reports.
She expects DNA results in mid-July and the ballistics report sometime in August. Judge Charles C. Currier inquired what DNA samples were being processed.
Hutchins replied they awaited DNA matches on the two guns found at the scene. â€œOne was located in the garbage and another under the property. The ballistics tests are on a projectile recovered that passed through Foster,â€ Hutchins said.
In a previous hearing, Detective Albert Aldana described a casing found in the front yard of the house, a firearm and a magazine located in the garbage can of a nearby home and a rifle that had been taken apart and placed in the crawl space under the home.
Currier granted the motion for continuance. He referred to the pending evidence as critical to the case. Defense attorney Jesse Cosby objected to the delay, especially since he would need time to review the evidence presented to him in disclosure:
â€œI recognize all the difficulties the lab is having, the financial difficulties and the difficulties with personnel.â€ He asked the court to consider a motion for release or reduction of bond. Currier pointed out that the defendant was only arraigned in District Court in January.
â€œThe case had not been pending that long,â€ he said. â€œIt is a serious charge, with a charge of first-degree murder, and it is a case with considerable complexity. The state is not dilatory in the accumulating and processing of evidence.â€ Currier then went on to question Cosby about his previous association with the victim.
â€œDidnâ€™t you represent Foster in a criminal case?â€ he asked. Cosby said that he could not remember if he represented Foster or Fosterâ€™s mother.
Currier then asked about defenseâ€™s intention to put the victimâ€™s mother, Dana Dryden, on the list of witnesses. Cosby explained that he needed Dryden to testify about â€œproperties that were purloined by Stephen Foster.â€
Currier responded, â€œI find it unusual that you represented the victim, Foster, and now represent the person who is charged with his killing, and may have represented the victimâ€™s mother and are now calling her as a witness.â€
He advised that he would request a prerelease report before he would consider any bond reduction. Currently Herreraâ€™s bond is set at $500,000 cash surety. The trial is now set for Sept. 27, with pre-trials scheduled on July 18, Aug. 29 and Sept. 23.