Triple murder trial postponed

COVID-19 precautions lead to emergency order

Dennis Bauer.

Dennis Bauer.

PORT ANGELES — Dennis Marvin Bauer’s triple murder trial will be postponed a second time because of COVID-19 precautions, a Clallam County Superior Court judge has ruled.

Bauer, 52, is charged with the December 2018 shooting deaths of Tiffany May, Darrell Iverson and Jordan Iverson at Darrell Iverson’s residence east of Port Angeles.

He pleaded not guilty Friday to 21 amended charges — three counts of first-degree premeditated murder and 18 weapons violations — and will receive a new trial date Feb. 18.

He is being held in the Clallam County jail on $3.5 million bail.

Superior Court Judge Brent Basden extended an emergency order Thursday suspending all criminal jury trials through March 29 and all civil jury trials through May 17.

Bauer’s six-week trial was scheduled to begin March 22.

“The court finds that the serious danger posed by COVID-19 is good cause to continue criminal trials, and constitutes an unavoidable circumstance,” Basden said in the order.

Witnesses in the Bauer trial will be under subpoena for seven weeks after March 22.

“I would like to set it during that time when people are already under subpoena,” said Michele Devlin, Clallam County chief criminal deputy prosecuting attorney, in a Friday court hearing.

“There’s so many witness, and it’s just very difficult. This will be the third time we’ve tried to serve upwards of 90 people.”

Bauer was previously scheduled to go to trial on June 8, 2020, and last Jan. 4.

Basden issued an order last November postponing all jury trials because of a spike in coronavirus cases in Clallam County.

In addition to the latest order for Superior Court, District Court 1 Judge David Neupert ordered Friday all jury trials to be postponed to no sooner than March 31.

Bauer is now charged with three counts of first-degree premeditated murder, seven counts of first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, six counts of possessing a stolen firearm, four counts of theft of a firearm and one count of unlawful possession of firearm parts.

The two added charges — counts 20 and 21 — were first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of firearm parts.

The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office alleged that Bauer and two co-defendants — Kallie Ann LeTellier and Ryan Warren Ward — murdered Darrell Iverson, 57, Jordan Iverson, 27, and May, 26, before ransacking the Iverson home in the early morning hours of Dec. 26, 2018.

LeTellier, 36, was sentenced in November to 35 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder with a firearm enhancement for May’s death.

Ward, 39, was sentenced in November to life in prison with no possibility of parole after pleading guilty to three counts of first-degree aggravated murder and 16 other counts related to the theft, sale or illegal possession of firearms.

Bauer’s attorney, Karen Unger, said she and Devlin had discussed the latest continuance.

“We knew this was coming,” Unger said.

Erickson suggested the trial be reset during a Feb. 18 evidentiary hearing.

Bauer had waived his right to a speedy trial though April 30.

Erickson granted Unger’s request for additional investigative services.

“I anticipate that there will be substantially more expense to prepare for trial,” Unger said.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at [email protected] peninsuladailynews.com.

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