Trial delayed for Superior murder suspect

By KBJR News 1

April 22, 2014 Updated Apr 23, 2014 at 7:49 AM CDT

Superior, WI (NNCNOW.com)--- The trial for an Arizona man accused of shooting another man to death in Superior has been postponed..just two weeks before the trial was expected to start.

New evidence obtained by the defense for 42-year-old Juan Padilla has delayed the trial, which was originally scheduled to start on May 5.

The evidence includes Padilla's cell phone records that the state requested last May following the shooting, but an analysis of the records was not given to the state until last week.

In court Tuesday, Padilla's defense attorney stated that records show a cell phone the state believes was Padilla's was used in Superior a few days prior and the day of the shooting of Terry Luukkonen.

J. Patrick O'Neill asked the court to reschedule the trial date, saying the new evidence could have a significant impact on the case and how the defense moves forward.

O'Neill said follow-up investigations need to be done, including consulting with a technology expert.

Prosecuting Attorney Dan Blank said in court that the evidence is significant to both sides.

"It could show that the defendant's cell phone was used in Superior, day or two before, and day of the murder, potentially it doesn't show that. You know, cell phones and cell phone towers and signals and where things are pinging and sending and receiving that's what needs to be analyzed more in depth," said Prosecuting Attorney Dan Blank.

"We simply need time and so there wasn't enough time from when received that evidence last week and the start of the trial so the trial had to be delayed in fairness to both sides," said Defense Attorney J. Patrick O'Neill.

Padilla is charged with first degree murder for shooting 46-year-old Luukkonen in the head at Genesis attachments on May 23 of last year.

Authorities say Luukkonen's fiancee, Christen Weir was Padilla's former girlfriend.

They claim he killed Luukonen because he was upset that Weir broke up with him and had plans to marry Luukonen.

A motion hearing is set for May 6.

A pretrial hearing is August 4, and the trial has been rescheduled to start on August 18.

Written and posted to the web by Raeanna Marnati
rmarnati@kbjr.com

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