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Preliminary Hearing Continued for Accessory Defendant in Simpson Slaying

Brittany Weiler's defense still awaiting details from authorities investigating April 15 killing at Arroyo Burro Beach

The woman charged with accessory to murder in the April 15 slashing death of Robert Simpson had her preliminary hearing setting continued Friday. A new date has not been determined.

Brittany Danielle Weiler
Brittany Danielle Weiler

The defense’s request came because there are outstanding law enforcement reports, Senior Deputy District Attorney Hilary Dozer said.

Brittany Weiler, 19, and a 17-year-old female have both been charged as accessories, and Weiler remains in custody at the Santa Barbara County Jail.

Weiler was arrested the day after the brazen slaying at Arroyo Burro Beach. Witnesses say Simpson, 44, of Santa Barbara, was attempting to break up a fight when a man ran up behind him and slit his throat. Authorities say several hundred people were in the vicinity at the time of the killing, which took place on the grassy picnic area just off the parking lot at the popular beach, 2981 Cliff Drive.

Adrian Robles, 20, of Santa Barbara, has been charged with Simpson’s murder. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges, which include murder with gang-related special circumstances and allegations.

Dozer is handling both the Robles and Weiler cases, but he said it’s unlikely the two would be combined into one, although that argument could be made.

After Simpson was stabbed, Weiler allegedly drove herself, the two other defendants and another man through the crowded parking lot and away from the beach.

“Usually murder and the details are considered too prejudicial for an accessory to murder case,” Dozer said. It’s too early to tell if Weiler’s trial would have to take place after Robles’, he said.

Weiler is represented by defense attorney Douglas Hayes and has pleaded not guilty. The request for a bail reduction — which was originally set at $1 million — was also continued.

Defense attorney Steve Balash was appointed as Robles’ counsel after the Public Defender’s Office declared a conflict and the Criminal Defense Associates, an agency that contracts with the court in such situations, didn’t have any qualified attorneys available.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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