June 25, 2013
Monica Lara, OVN correspondent
The murder trial of Alex Medina, the 18-year-old Ojai Valley resident arrested in 2009 for the alleged murder of Seth Scarminach, has been postponed yet again.
The change came Monday during a hearing in Ventura County Superior Court.
Medina, who was 14 at the time of the murder, is expected to be back in court July 29.
The date was pushed back due to scheduling conflicts among witnesses expected to take the stand during the trial, according Thomas Dunlevy, the deputy district attorney prosecuting the case.
“There is a good chance the July date will stick,” said Dunlevy, who is the latest prosecuting attorney on the case, having taken it on three months ago.
The defense team could not be reached for comment.
Two delays earlier this year came from both sides of the aisle: in the first, a prosecuting attorney who was added to the case, needed time to get up to speed. In the second, the defense team of Scott Wippert and Robyn Bramson had conflicting trial commitments.
Monday’s postponement was jointly requested by both counsels.
Medina has been charged with first-degree murder, and will be tried as an adult because of two enhancements sought by the district attorney’s office.
According to the enhancements, if the accused was at least 14 when the crime was committed, and if the crime would be punishable by death or life in prison if committed by an adult, then the accused can be tried as an adult.
Additional enhancements, including use of a deadly weapon, committing a crime to benefit a street gang and committing a crime as a participant in a street gang, could add to his sentence if Medina is convicted.
Medina was arrested April 26, 2009. At 2:30 a.m., the same morning 16-year-old Scarminach, succumbed to several stab wounds in his neck and chest. The incident took place at a house party in the 2400 block of Maricopa Highway.
After Medina’s 18th birthday in December 2012, he was transferred from the county’s juvenile center to the main jail. He has remained there while awaiting trial.