VALPARAISO | A third delay has been granted in the trial of a man accused in a double homicide at a home just outside the city limits.
Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper granted the delay requested by the defense Tuesday and aligned the trial of Julius Garza, 20, of Hammond with that of his co-defendant Alejandro Sanchez, 21, of Hammond.
Defense attorney Larry Rogers said he requested the delay after the state filed charges against Sanchez this month.
"It brings in some questions," Rogers told Harper, adding that one person present the night of the double homicide has recently given a statement to police. That statement has not yet been transcribed and he has not had a chance to read it nor decide if he needed to depose the potential witness.
Porter County Deputy Prosecutor Cheryl Polarek did not object to the delay, saying only the charges against the two are different.
Harper said she believed the two trials should be aligned. Sanchez' trial is scheduled for March 3, 2014. She set Garza's trial for the same date. Garza's trial had originally been set for March 11, but was then postponed until September and again until Nov. 4.
The two have been charged in the April 7, 2012, double murder of Jeffery Trinka, 40, of Valparaiso and Jennifer Guinn, 31, of Hammond, at a house in the 1500 block of Lincolnway in Center Township. Trinka was pronounced dead at the scene and Guinn later died at the hospital. Both suffered multiple gunshot wounds.
Garza was taken into custody the night of the murders and told police he was not involved, but hid in the house while the murders took place.