A Spokane judge Friday said the double-murder trial of Dwayne Woods won’t start until March 17.
Spokane Superior Court Judge Michael Donohue granted a request by Woods’ attorneys to delay the trial to give them more time to test evidence to be used against Woods.
Woods, 25, is charged with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder in the deaths of Jade Moore, 18, and Telisha Shaver, 22. Both women died in the hospital after being beaten and raped in a Spokane Valley mobile home April 27.
Woods is also charged with attempted murder in the attack on Shaver’s sister, Venus Shaver, 19. She told police she was attacked by a black man named Dwayne.
Woods told the court last week he prefers going to trial on Oct. 23, the date previously set. He asked Donohue not to grant a seven-month delay because he’s entitled to a speedy trial to prove his innocence. At the time, Donohue said he wasn’t inclined to wait until May.
This week, public defender Gary Hemingway said the defense needs about six months to test lab results being prepared by the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory.
Prosecutors have sent samples of DNA found at the scene to the lab and expect to use them as evidence.
Woods, 25, did not make a statement in court on Friday. When asked by Donohue if he still preferred a speedy trial, he nodded and said yes.
County Prosecutor James Sweetser said he opposed the delay.
He has already filed motions indicating he will seek the death penalty for Woods on the basis of the violence of the attacks and other aggravating factors.
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