VALPARAISO | A six-month delay was granted Tuesday in the trial of a 19-year-old Hammond man charged with the shooting deaths of two people at a home just west of Valparaiso.
Defense attorney Larry Rogers said the original Sept. 17 trial for Julius Garza would not give him enough time to review all the information provided by prosecutors and prepare the case.
Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper rescheduled the trial for March 11, with a status hearing Feb. 26 and an order that any potential delays be brought to her attention.
"I don't want to hear on Feb. 26 that you're not ready," she said.
The trial is expected to last two weeks.
Garza, who has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder, is accused of killing Jeffery Trinka, 40, of Valparaiso, and Jennifer Guinn, 31, of Hammond, at a home in the 1500 block of Lincolnway in Center Township just outside of the Valparaiso city limits.
Porter County e911 dispatchers received a call about 2:11 a.m. April 7 from Guinn, who told them her friend had been shot, according to court documents. Dispatchers then reportedly heard gunshots and the woman went silent.
Dispatchers traced the woman's cellphone to the home, where police confronted Garza.
Deputy Prosecutor Cheryl Polarek said Tuesday 99 percent of the evidence has been turned over to the defense.
Evidence indicates the weapon in this case may be linked to other murders in Lake County, she said.