The teens charged with the murder of 20-year-old Wyatt Miller appeared separately in court Monday in a hearing two months ahead of their trial date.
Co-defendants Gustavo Olivo and Arthur Magana are charged with first-degree murder and armed robbery in the 2016 shooting death of Miller in an incident south of Maricopa.
Attorneys for the defendants are prepared for an April 10 trial, but that date could be pushed back due to the heavy trial case load for the judge assigned to the case.
Judge Kevin White said he has three capital cases going to trial around the same time, including Olivo’s and Magana’s trial.
Magana’s attorney, James Soslowsky, is currently in the middle of representing a separate murder trial. He said Magana’s case could still be ready for the April trial, pending what could be a major change to the case.
“There’s a couple of issues that I need to take a look at,” Soslowsky said. “One primary concern for the trial date is whether or not I’m going to be filing a motion to sever.”
That motion would create separate trials for the defendants. State law requires counsel to file the motion 20 days before trial.
Soslowsky requested the case return to White’s court room in two weeks, when the attorney said he would be better prepared to discuss a possible change in the trial date. John Schaus, Olivo’s attorney, later made the same request of the judge.
White scheduled a status review hearing for both defendants March 12 at 1:30 p.m. The judge said a possible alternate trial date could be May 1.
“That’s just a consideration and not something I’m pushing for,” White said.
Witness and evidence lists have been building in the case since September.
Prosecutors named three Department of Public Safety forensic scientists and an officer as witnesses five months ago. Document evidence submissions included law enforcement reports, DNA examination report, latent print examination report, controlled substance examination report and a serology examination report.
In January, forensic scientist Aaron Brudenell was added as a witness expected to testify as a firearms expert. Brudenell’s firearms examination report and another report by a detective on the case were also submitted as evidence.
An investigator joined Shaus in Olivo’s case “to assist in preparation of this case” in December.
White approved Goodyear-based DiCarlo Associates LLC, a private investigation company that “has done over 250 criminal defense cases…including approximately 15 capital murder cases” since 2004, according to court documents.
Schaus has requested reimbursement of reasonable expense incurred through the firm’s hiring which costs $45 per hour.