Trial of second man in child killings postponed

A Baltimore judge postponed the trial of a second man accused of nearly beheading three young relatives nine years ago until October so that lawyers have more time to prepare arguments on DNA evidence.

Adan Canela, 26, is charged with multiple murder and conspiracy counts in the deaths of three of his young relatives, who were killed in May 2004. His uncle, Policarpio Espinoza Perez, 31, was convicted on murder conspiracy charges in the case earlier this year and sentenced to life in prison last month.

The men had previously been tried together twice, the first trial ending in a hung jury, the second in convictions that were overturned on appeal. Canela's third trial was scheduled to begin at the end of the month.

But Jeff Gilleran, one of his lawyers, argued in court Tuesday that prosecutors wanted to introduce evidence based on cutting-edge DNA science and that the defense team's experts needed time to prepare.

Assistant State's Attorney Cynthia M. Banks did not object to the request for more time. Gilleran proposed holding a hearing in January, but Judge M. Brooke Murdock said she is retiring at the end of the year.

She said the trial will be her "swan song."

Jurors in Espinoza Perez's case deadlocked on one of the charges against him, but the State's Attorney's Office said Tuesday that it would not seek a retrial because he had already been sentenced to life.

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