Friday, July 11, 2014

Another delay for murder suspect Arias

Homicide trial won’t start until well into the new year

December 04. 2013 11:38PM

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WILKES-BARRE — Adamis Arias’s homicide trial won’t take place any time this year.

Luzerne County Judge David Lupas on Wednesday gave the Hazleton man’s defense more time to review and seek documents in the case, with another pre-trial status conference set for the morning of Jan. 21.

Arias, 21, is accused of shooting and killing 19-year-old Angel Villalobos during an argument about money on Feb. 23. He faces a single count of criminal homicide.

Villalobos died of multiple gunshot wounds, Dr. Gary Ross indicated after an autopsy at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.

Arias entered a not-guilty plea in June.

His trial had been set for Nov. 18, but Lupas agreed to postpone that date, giving new counsel time to review documents.

Lupas agreed Wednesday to schedule another conference date so attorney John Hakim and the defense can gather and review information including:

• English translations of transcripts made of intercepted prison phone calls reportedly made by Arias.

• Several pages of information missing from a discovery document.

• Results of gunshot residue tests.

According to court documents, several witnesses put Arias at the scene of the shooting. One of the witnesses told police he saw Arias pull out a gun and point it at Villalobos. The witness also said Villalobos “went for the gun and Arias fired the first shot.”

Arias, whose last known address was listed in court documents as 561 Seybert St.,was wanted at that time by county probation officials for a violation in connection with a previous firearms charge, police said.

Court records say Arias was sentenced on Oct. 25, 2011, to four to 23 months in jail on charges he fired several rounds into an occupied vehicle on 15th Street in Hazleton 10 months earlier.

Police had received tips on Arias’ whereabouts and, while conducting surveillance on Feb. 25, apprehended him when they saw him leaving a house on North James Street. Charges in the homicide case were filed on April 5.

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