They contend the prosecutor's actions were so egregious that the judge should dismiss the death penalty allegation against the accused Seal Beach shooter and bar the district attorney’s office from prosecuting the case.
Assistant Dist. Atty. Dan Wagner called the allegations “scurrilous and unfounded” and said he would respond to the specifics in court. A spokesman for the sheriff's department also declined to comment on specific allegations but said his office is prepared to cooperate with court proceedings.
Family members of the salon victims say they have grown frustrated with the lengthy delays, which defense attorneys say stem in part from their efforts to investigate the use of informants.
Paul Wilson, whose wife, Christy, was killed in the shootings, told the judge the delays are taking a toll on the families.
“We’re approaching three years,” he said. “This is killing us.”
The judge told Wilson he believes the defense is not deliberately trying to stall the case.
“These are not fabricated claims,” Goethals told Wilson. “We have to carefully, professionally, methodically deal with these motions. ... If I don’t handle it correctly, really we’re just wasting our time with the rest of the trial.”
Goethals also indicated he is considering separating the two phases of the trial — guilt and death penalty — in order to help deal with some of the delays.
The defense allegations were laid out in a 505-page motion filed by Assistant Public Defenders Scott Sanders and Lisa Kopelman on Jan. 31.