Marci Kitchen trial delayed; attorneys mention change of venue

EUREKA – Marci Kitchen’s jury trial is delayed and defense attorney’s are talking about a change of venue.
California Highway Patrol investigators say Marci Kitchen struck two teenagers as they were skateboarding on Eel River Drive in Fortuna the evening of July 12, 2016.
The 14-year-old victims, Kitchen’s daughter Kiya and family friend Faith Tsarnas, died from their injuries.
Marci Kitchen faces four counts including vehicular manslaughter, DUI and Hit and Run.
Marci Kitchen’s private attorneys Patrik Griego and Benjamin Okin appeared on her behalf Wednesday at the Humboldt County Courthouse where Judge Watson got right to the point and asked, ‘Why a continuance?’
Okin replied that their office just received the California Highway Patrol Multi Disciplinary Accident Investigation Teams or MAIT report. Okin went on to say that it contains substantially new information including a speed analysis.
At the preliminary hearing, CHP officers testified that Kitchen was driving at a high rate of speed but no specific number was given.
Okin argued there was no way to go through the report by the scheduled jury trial date of November 13, and this was clearly cause for granting the motion to continue. Deputy District Attorney Stacey Eads objected to the motion. Eads argued that the two victims have a constitutional right to a speedy trial and added ‘we’re well past the one year anniversary’. Eads said she received the MAIT report at the same time and the evidence has been available to defense experts.
She explained that the defense could have additional time to review while the people present its case and she was prepared to go to trial.
Okin replied that their experts were working on other aspects of the case, and the legal team would have to be writing reports while selecting a jury. Okin again stated there was no way they could be prepared.
Judge Watson granted the motion to continue and scheduled a trial setting for November 14.
Attorneys estimated a full month for the trial then Okin said that’s assuming there aren’t change of venue issues that need to be addressed.
That could mean additional delays moving forward.