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Local News

Retrial Date May Be Set Next Month for Fatal Lompoc Stabbing Case

After wrestling with how to squeeze in another trial on an already busy calendar, Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge James Voysey postponed setting a trial start date for two men charged in connection with a fatal stabbing in Lompoc.

Defendants Dequan Matthews and Edward Carter appeared in the Santa Maria courtroom on Tuesday morning.

The judge, defense attorneys and Deputy District Attorney Lynmarc Jenkins discussed how to fit in the six-week retrial into the judge’s schedule that includes another murder trial set to start in March and last 10 weeks.

Carter and Matthews face charges that stem from the death of rival gang member, Jesse “Dizzy” Lara, 29, who was fatally stabbed in early June 2015 on the 400 block of North M Street.

Last summer, a jury found the two men not guilty of first-degree murder and having a hung jury on lesser charges, Carter and Matthews face a second trial for second-degree murder or lesser charges.

Linked to the Six Deuce Brims gang, the two defendants were among four people arrested in connection with the death of the rival gang member in what prosecutors contend stemmed from gang warfare, while defense attorneys argued it was self defense.

Carter is represented by Brian Carroll while Matthews’ defense attorney is David Bixby.

While the attorneys and judge discussed starting the retrial later this month, Voysey continued the case to Feb. 6 since there are still pending defense motions seeking dismissal of the charges.  

On that day, the judge said he expects to consider motions filed by defense attorneys and set the trial date.

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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