Retrial of two men accused of killing three children postponed

The third trial of two men accused of murdering three young relatives in a Baltimore apartment in 2004 was postponed for a second time Wednesday in the city's circuit court.

A new trial date was not immediately set for defendants Policarpio Espinoza Perez, 30, and Adan Espinoza Canela, 25, though it will likely be sometime this summer, according to Judge Barry G. Williams. He attributed the delay to both sides in the case.

The men, illegal immigrants from Mexico, have been in custody since their arrest nearly eight years ago. Their first trial ended in a hung jury, and the second resulted in convictions and life sentences that were overturned on appeal last year because of a trial judge's error.

The men were next set for trial on Nov. 10, but the case was postponed, and again Wednesday. It's unclear what the reasons for the latest postponement were; the lawyers discussed them in secret at the judge's bench.

The men are each charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree murder and conspiracy in connection with the deaths of three elementary school-age children: siblings Ricardo and Lucero Espinoza, ages 9 and 8, respectively, and their cousin, Alexis Espejo Quozada, 10.

The children were beaten in their Fallstaff home on May 27, 2004, and their throats were slashed so deeply, they were nearly decapitated. Perez, their uncle, and Canela, their cousin, were arrested and charged with the deaths a day later. They have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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