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Tentative Trial Date Set for Suspect in Simpson Slaying

Barring further continuances, Adrian Robles will stand trial for murder starting July 19

Court proceedings in the Robert Simpson slaying resumed briefly Tuesday in Santa Barbara County Superior Court.

Defense Attorney Steve Balash and Senior Deputy District Attorney Hilary Dozer appeared before Judge Brian Hill to set a trial date for 20-year-old Adrian Robles, facing murder charges in the April 15, 2010, stabbing of Simpson, a 44-year-old Santa Barbara resident, at Arroyo Burro Beach.

The trial has been tentatively scheduled to begin July 19. Dozer said the date will stand barring any further continuances at the next proceeding on May 10.

Simpson died of a stab wound to the neck during an altercation near the grassy picnic area at the beach off Cliff Drive. Witnesses said Simpson was attempting to break up a fight when a young man ran up behind him and slit his throat.

Dozer spoke with Simpson family members after Tuesday’s court proceedings. He said he expects the jury selection process to begin on or about July 20, and the trial to proceed for about three weeks.

The Simpson family said they would like to see the matter move along more quickly, given that it has been about a year since the attack.

— John Conroy is a contributing photographer and writer for Noozhawk. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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