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OTTAWA — An Ottawa woman asked Friday to have her murder trial continued until late summer — a move that could clear the way for a negotiated plea.
Jamie Lomeli, 32, of Ottawa is charged with one count of first-degree murder in the beating death of Darrio Hunter in 2011.
Lomeli could face up to 60 years in prison if convicted at a trial now set for Aug. 26. She had been scheduled for jury trial a week from Monday, but she and her lawyer asked for a continuance Friday. The postponement was granted.
Friday’s continuance comes as no surprise: Both the state and defense have reasons for putting Lomeli last among the suspects facing trial in 2013.
Prosecutors hinted long ago they wanted to first deal with the two male suspects — Luis Lomeli, Jamie’s brother, and Jason Ward of Ottawa — who were accused of inflicting the blows that killed Hunter. Luis Lomeli was convicted last month of murder and awaits sentencing in mid-July; Ward’s trial begins soon after.
Jamie Lomeli, for her part, was expected to seek a postponement to see what happens to Luis and Ward. If both wind up with long sentences, Jamie could be spurred into negotiating a plea.
Prosecutors already have cut a deal with one of the initial murder suspects. Joshua Ward (Jason’s brother) testified against Luis in exchange for a reduced charge of armed robbery. Joshua Ward will serve about 13 years in prison if the deal, contingent upon testifying at all Hunter trials, is completed.
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