Retrial of accused double-murderer won’t be held until February
By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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A five-minute hearing Friday via the Internet video phone service Skype scheduled the retrial start as Feb. 24 in Kitsap County Superior Court.
Participants in the hearing included Pierce and attorneys for the prosecution, Scott Rosekrans and Chris Ashcraft, and defense attorneys Richard Davies and Bret Roberts.
The hearing was transmitted between Port Hadlock — where Pierce is being held in jail — and Port Orchard, where the Kitsap court is located.
The meeting had no technical glitches, according to Ashcraft, and the method will be used for the pretrial hearing scheduled for Nov. 1.
Another hearing is scheduled for Friday in Port Townsend’s Jefferson County Superior Court, in which Judge Keith Harper is expected to rule on pretrial motions, Ashcraft said.
Friday’s Skype conference represented the first meeting between attorneys and Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Sally Olsen, who will preside over the February trial.
Pierce, 38, is accused of killing the Yarrs of Quilcene and setting their house afire to hide the deaths March 18, 2009.
A Jefferson County jury convicted Pierce in 2010 of two counts of first-degree murder, and Pierce was serving a life sentence in Walla Walla State Penitentiary when the state Court of Appeals reversed the conviction on a technicality
July 17, 2012.
The first attempt at a retrial in Port Townsend in July ended in a mistrial after a juror recalled that she might have seen Pierce walking by the side of U.S. Highway 101 one evening, though she could not recall the exact date.
Harper granted a joint motion from the prosecution and defense for the mistrial July 22 and approved the change of venue to Kitsap County, a move that had been requested earlier by defense counsel.
Pierce will remain in the Jefferson County jail until the trial begins. Where he will be held during the trial has yet to be determined, Ashcraft said.
Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last modified: September 22. 2013 6:18PM