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Tuesday, December 18 , 2018, 4:21 am | Fair 48º


Murder Trial for 2 Former Hancock College Athletes Delayed Again in Santa Maria Superior Court

This month’s scheduled start of a murder trial for a pair of former Allan Hancock College basketball players has been postponed.

Defense attorney Lori Pedego, with support from colleague Michael Scott, sought additional time so they could have their expert review ballistics reports regarding the alleged murder weapon. 

The defense attorneys represent Ali Abdul Mohammed, 22, and Lavell Calvin White, 24,  two former Hancock basketball players who are charged in connection with the fatal shooting of Terence Richardson, 23, in December 2014.

Investigators say the killing occurred during a drug buy in which the defendants instead tried to rob the dealer, who was the vehicle’s driver. Richardson sat in the passenger seat. 

The driver raced Richardson to Marian Regional Medical Center, where he died from the gunshot wound, authorities said. 

Both defendants are also alleged to have committed multiple residential burglaries around the Santa Maria Valley. 

The trial was scheduled to start Aug. 15 before Judge James Voysey granted the newest postponement on Wednesday.

Deputy District Attorney Stephanie Savrnoch said she did not oppose the motion, but sought the shortest continuance possible.

The defendants waived time for the trial through December, but a new date has not been set yet.

The Santa Maria criminal courts have multiple lengthy trials stacking up amid delays attributed to assorted reasons. 

In fact, the previous postponement in this case pushed another trial — involving defendants charged in connection with the mid-2015 death of Marilyn Pharis — into 2018 since both involve the same two defense attorneys.

White and Mohammed are set to return to court Aug. 22.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully 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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