Michael Salazar, the 17-year-old charged with assisting confessed Randle murderers Jonathon Adamson and Benito Marquez, waived his right to a speedy trial during a hearing Thursday to provide his new attorneys time to obtain and familiarize themselves with the massive amounts of reports and discovery that have amassed throughout the one-year long investigation.
Seattle-based attorneys Tim Leary and Aaron Kiviatt were substituted in from his original counsel. Leary was present during Thursday’s hearing, and he said the original trial date of Sept. 16 didn’t provide him a realistic amount of time to build a defense after just coming aboard the case.
Leary proposed having an omnibus hearing on Sept. 12 with a jury trial set for October, but just as a placeholder until a more realistic date could be set.
Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer said he believed October would be an appropriate time for a trial, and deadline for the new attorneys to have a defense ready. Meyer pointed out that not too many of the over 1,000 pages of discovery actually pertain to Salazar, whose alleged role in the death of Randle teen Benjamin Eastman III was minimal compared to that of Adamson and Marquez.
At the end of the brief hearing, Salazar waived his right to a speedy trial — which mandates a trial start within 60 of arraignment — and an omnibus/trial setting hearing was set for 1 p.m. Sept. 12.
Salazar is accused of knowing of the two’s plan to attack Eastman in June 2018 and preventing another teen from reporting it to a third party. He is also accused of helping them dispose of evidence after the fact. He was charged with first-degree murder or in the alternative second-degree murder, first-degree rendering criminal assistance and tampering with physical evidence.
He was arrested and booked July 19.