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Anthony Becker Trial Date Moved to April 22

A judge has agreed to delay the start of Santa Clara City Council Member Anthony Becker’s perjury trial, though not as much as Becker’s attorney had hoped. Judge Elizabeth Peterson agreed to vacate the March 4 trial date but said Public Defender Chris Montoya’s request that the trial be rescheduled for July was “excessive.” Instead, she chose an April 22 start date.

Montoya asked for the delay in part because he has another client who is currently in custody and awaiting a March trial that could include a life sentence. Judge Peterson said she understood and was willing to grant the motion to push back the trial date, but she also indicated that Montoya should be ready by the third week of April. Judge Peterson pointed out that the public defender has had the prosecution’s discovery evidence for “several months.”

Montoya indicated that he was still receiving discovery evidence from the District Attorney’s Office with no indication of when the document handoff would stop. He stated that the latest document he received was on Jan. 16. That’s when Deputy District Attorney Jason Malinsky jumped in to point out that the document received on Jan. 16 was only 18 pages long. Montoya has stated in the past that the District Attorney’s office has sent him thousands of pages of discovery evidence and that he did not receive all of the documents until after Thanksgiving.

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The judge requested a sidebar with the two attorneys twice during the hearing. It is unclear what they discussed.

When asked how long the trial is expected to last, Malinsky stated that he expects it to last three to four weeks.

Judge Peterson set the trial to start on April 22 and gave March 25 as the last date to file any motions. She was willing to hear motions up until April 8. Barring any other changes, Becker’s trial is expected to start on April 22 at 8:31 a.m. in Dept. 24.

In May of last year, Becker pleaded “not guilty” to charges of perjury and violation of duty.

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1 Comment
  1. Sixteenth Amendment 3 weeks ago
    Reply

    The DA publicly announced Becker’s indictment April 2023, Montoya says he didn’t receive bulk of evidence more than seven months later and in the middle of State/Federal holidays. Unless fresh new evidence recently surfaced or the DDA conducted additional discovery, there should be no reason why further evidence is just being submitted. At the time Malinsky handed over the additional 18 pages his office – with multiple staff and large budget – already had weeks or months to review it. The U.S. Constitution guarantees criminal defendants a meaningful opportunity to present a complete defense. Allowing the Public Defender with a heavy case load equal time and resource to do the same seems reasonable. My comment is not support of the indicted Council Member, just equal time under the law.

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