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Second Trial In Lompoc Fatal Stabbing Set For Early 2017

The second trial for two men charged in connection with the fatal stabbing of a Lompoc man in June 2015 has been pushed into early next year.

In Santa Barbara County Superior Court on Monday, Santa Maria Judge James Voysey agreed to schedule the new trial for Jan. 24, Deputy District Attorney Lynmarc Jenkins said.

Edward Carter and Dequan Mathews will be tried again in connection with the fatal stabbing of rival gang member, Jesse “Dizzy” Lara, 29, in Lompoc, in June 2015 on the 400 block of North M Street.

In August, Voysey declared a mistrial when jurors deadlocked on less charges after finding the men not guilty of first-degree murder. 

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.

The trial has tentatively been planned for mid-October, but was postponed because defense attorneys want to review transcripts from the first trial.

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

The case will return to court Oct. 17 for a readiness and settlement hearing. 

Also on Monday, a third defendant, Damian Simpson, was sentenced to seven years in prison based on his previous plea deal.

Originally charged with murder, Simpson instead pleaded no contest in May to a new count of assault with a deadly weapon with a gang enhancement. The original murder charge was dismissed. 

A fourth person arrested in connection with the incident is a juvenile who testified for the prosecution.

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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