Trial Delayed for Man Accused of Killing Peninsula Officer

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    The family of a peninsula police officer killed in the line of duty are dealing with yet another delay in the trial of their loved one's alleged killer.

    All 12 jurors have been selected in the trial of a 26-year-old man accused of fatally shooting East Palo Alto police Officer Richard May in 2006, but the selection of five alternate jurors has pushed back the trial another week, an assistant district attorney said.
     
    Opening statements were expected to begin Tuesday in San Mateo County Superior Court in the much-anticipated trial of Alberto Alvarez, who  faces the death penalty for allegedly shooting May on Jan. 7, 2006.

    However, on Thursday the opening statements were rescheduled for Oct. 19, Assistant District Attorney Karen Guidotti said.

    Jury selection, which began in late August, has already taken more than a month, after the trial was pushed back from last spring to the fall following the slaying of four Oakland police officers in March.

    It's possible opening statements could be delayed further, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

    Alvarez had been involved in a fight at an East Palo Alto taqueria on University Avenue at about 4:30 p.m. Jan. 7, 2006, and May had responded to the disturbance.

    During a foot chase, May was able to corner Alvarez a block and a half from the restaurant but did not know Alvarez was carrying a gun in his pocket, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, who is  prosecuting the case.

    Wagstaffe said Alvarez fired six shots, striking May four times.  May managed to fire one shot at Alvarez, which hit him in the leg. May died at the scene.

    Alvarez disappeared after the shooting, and an extensive police search was conducted. He was arrested at about 6 a.m. the next day while allegedly trying to sneak past police by hiding in the backseat of a friend's car, Wagstaffe said.

    Alvarez has been in custody without bail since his arrest.
     

    Bay City News