2016 Pine Ridge homicide trial may not be held until 2021
Francisco Villanueva, Adan James Corona, Estevan Baquera are charged with 1st Degree Murder in the shooting death of Vinnie Brewer
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The three men accused in the murder of Vinnie Brewer of Pine Ridge may not have their trial until late next year.
Lawyers representing Francisco Villanueva, Adan James Corona, and Estevan Baquera asked Federal Judge Jeffrey Viken to move the trial to September 2021.
The three men are charged with 1st Degree Murder and are accused of traveling from Colorado to Pine Ridge to collect a drug debt from Brewer and shooting him in October of 2016 in front of the SuAnne Big Crow Center in Pine Ridge.
In federal court on Dec. 1, the three defense attorneys and federal prosecutors agreed that September of next year would work best citing concerns over the ongoing COVID pandemic in Pennington County as well as Pine Ridge. Concerns over the availability of a vaccine were also discussed.
Judge Viken originally asked for a March date for the expected five to six-week trial.
In looking for that March date Judge Viken talked about the impact on witnesses as well as his concern from the presumption of innocence the three defendants have but are still incarcerated.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Collins said at the high end the government could call 86 witnesses from out of state as well as Pine Ridge during the trial.
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