Friday, February 24 , 2017, 1:51 am | Fair 46º


Local News

Anthony Ibarra Murder Case Moving to Larger Courtroom

Future hearings in the Anthony Ibarra murder case will need to be held in a larger, yet-to-be-identified courtroom, a Santa Maria judge said Thursday.

Superior Court Judge Rick Brown granted a defense attorney’s motion to move hearings into a more adequately sized space to accommodate the case’s 11 defendants and attorneys.

The defendants, who are still in custody, have been indicted in connection with the gang-related torture and murder of Ibarra, 28, on March 17.

All 11 were back in court Thursday in Department 6, each with his or her own attorney.

Santa Barbara defense attorney Steve Balash said he filed the motion because attorneys didn’t have enough space to sit or even to take notes.

“Trying to stand up was difficult,” Balash said, noting that Solvang or Santa Barbara might have more adequate facilities.

Other defense attorneys readily supported the motion.

A date for the next hearing hasn’t been set, but everyone involved in the case is scheduled to meet in Department 6 on Sept. 12 to receive instructions on where to go for the remainder of the hearing.

Prosecutors have previously said they will not to seek the death penalty in the case, but several defendants face life in prison without parole if convicted.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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