Posted: Jun 6, 2013 3:46 PM by April Hansen, KSBY News
Updated: Jun 7, 2013 3:09 PM
Ten of the 11 people charged in the murder of Anthony Ibarra appeared in Santa Maria Superior Court again Thursday for a pretrial hearing.
Ibarra's body was found in the back of a U-Haul truck parked on an Orcutt Street in March.
Police believe he was tortured for hours before finally being stabbed to death.
The major developments happened outside the courtroom on Thursday.
One of the defendants, 54-year old Pedro Torres did not appear in court because he was in the hospital recovering from a jail beating.
The other ten defendants appeared together with their attorneys.
Most of the defendants wore dress shirts instead of the usual blue or orange jail clothes, but their hands and feet were still handcuffed.
Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley decided against seeking the death penalty if the eleven are convicted.
A few weeks ago, a Santa Maria grand jury issued indictments for the eleven suspects.
The youngest of those charged is 14-year-old Ramon Maldonado Jr., the grandson of David Maldonado and son of Ramon Maldonado Sr.
Both are also charged in this murder case.
The DA decided to charge the 14-year old as an adult.
The arraignments have been postponed several times, but lead prosecutor Ann Bramson says the case is moving quickly for having such a large group of defendants.
"I think it's actually moved along at light speed at this point. The murder occurred in March and we are already past an indictment. At this point, it's gone very fast. It will slow down and it should take some time before we get to trial," said Bramson.
The arraignments are postponed again until July 18th.
Prosecutor Bramson says it will give the defense time to review evidence and read the transcripts from the recent grand jury hearing.
Seven of the defendants face life in prison without the possibility of parole if they are convicted.
Two other defendants, including the 14-year-old, face 25 years to life.
Two more may get a maximum of 7 and ten years.
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