The judge has set a tentative date of March 4, 2024 to start the perjury trial of Santa Clara City Council Member Anthony Becker. The date was set despite a request from the defense attorney for more time to prepare for the trial.
During the trial setting hearing, Deputy District Attorney Jason Malinsky requested the March trial date. Becker’s attorney, public defender Chris Montoya, asked the judge to instead schedule another trial setting hearing in February. Montoya said he did not feel comfortable setting a trial date when he had yet to receive approximately 10,000 pages of discovery from the DA’s office.
Malinsky explained to the judge that his office requested a drive for the documents on Oct. 30 but did not receive the drive until just before Thanksgiving, approximately three and a half weeks later. Montoya explained that his office needed to gain approval to purchase of an $800, 10 terabyte drive specifically for this case.
“We requested, on Oct. 30, a hard drive so that we could provide them with discovery,” said Malinsky after the hearing. “They provided us with the hard drive right before Thanksgiving. And we’re now going to put the discovery onto the hard drive and provide it to them.”
When asked how long a process like that would “normally” take, Malinsky replied, “I don’t think there’s a normally.”
The judge decided to split the difference. He set a March 4, 2024 court date while also scheduling a Feb. 7, 2024 status hearing to determine whether or not Becker’s attorney had adequate time to review the thousands of documents connected to the case.
The case was assigned to Department 24, which means a new judge. That judge can push back the trial date further if necessary.
This was the third trial setting hearing for Becker. The other two occurred in August and September. In early May, he entered a “not guilty” plea to charges of perjury and violation of duty.
According to the DA’s office, Becker perjured himself when he told the Santa Clara Civil Grand Jury that he did not distribute a copy of the “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” Civil Grand Jury report to members of the public.