DENTON -- A Caroline County judge agreed yesterday to reschedule the jury trial of a man charged with last fall's slaying of a 17-year-old Salisbury State University student, but he admonished the defense not to ask for a long postponement.
"Time is the enemy of us all," said Circuit Judge J. Owen Wise. "A long postponement is harmful to everybody."
Yesterday's request by Public Defender John P. Rue II to delay the trial came after the emergency hospitalization of co-counsel Carolyn P. Mathers. Both lawyers are representing David Anthony Boyd, 33, of Salisbury, who is charged with the Sept. 9 fatal stabbing of Salisbury State freshman Heather Miller in a restroom at Salisbury Mall.
The trial was to have begun yesterday, but Mrs. Mathers, who is pregnant, was admitted to Peninsula Regional Hospital in Salisbury late Tuesday and later taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
Judge Wise, who also serves as the judicial circuit's administrative judge, said a long delay could pose problems for witnesses and jurors. He chastised the defense team for not having a substitute lawyer ready for the trial, which could see more than 50 witnesses for the prosecution alone.
"If I had gotten sick, we would have found a judge to try the case," he said.
Mr. Boyd, who is being held in the Wicomico County Detention Center, said he wanted a delay until Mrs. Mathers was able to return to work.
"I feel real comfortable with Mrs. Mathers," he said in court yesterday.
Judge Wise asked lawyers for both sides to decide by early next week when they will be able to try the case.