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March Trial Date Set for Young ‘Deltopia’ Reveler

A jury trial could begin in late March for an 18-year-old Los Angeles man accused of hitting a UC Santa Barbara police officer in the face with a backpack during Isla Vista's "Deltopia" street party last spring.

Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Brian Hill set a tentative trial start date of March 24 during a hearing Tuesday, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Mary Barron.

Desmond Edwards, who was 17 at the time of the alleged crime during the Deltopia street party in April 2014, faces felony charges of assault, resisting arrest and causing great bodily injury.

Edwards is being charged as an adult and hasn’t been in custody since last July, when Hill dropped bail and allowed his release over objections from the prosecution.

Edwards, who has pleaded not guilty, is accused of leading law enforcement officers on a foot pursuit along the 6700 block of Del Playa Drive in Isla Vista during the unsanctioned, alcohol-fueled event of Deltopia on April 5.

When members of the Sheriff’s Department's Isla Vista Foot Patrol and UCSB Police chased after suspects involved in a fight, Edwards allegedly ran down the street and threw his backpack — containing a large glass liquor bottle — into the face of UCSB Officer Tony Magaña, who testified at a preliminary hearing last summer.

Magaña ended up at the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital emergency room with a concussion and received 30 stitches above his right eyebrow.

Authorities allege the incident involving Edwards helped spur the violent rioting that followed.

Barron said Hill scheduled another hearing for Feb. 27 — the last chance to reach a settlement before trial.

She couldn’t discuss details of the negotiations, saying prosecutors didn't believe the case could be settled.

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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