The jury trial of double-manslaughter suspect Marcia “Marci” Kitchen is now set for the end of May.
This morning visiting Judge Terrence Boren scheduled a May 29 trial date for Kitchen, accused of running over and killing her daughter and another teen-age girl while driving drunk on Eel River Drive. Kitchen also is charged with fleeing the scene after hitting the girls, who were skateboarding on the road when struck from behind.
The trial is expected to last four weeks, with a number of traffic experts among the witnesses.
Deputy District Attorney Stacey Eads objected to the long delay, saying the victims’ families have been waiting too long for justice. The teens were killed 16 months ago on July 12, 2016.
“I don’t know why we’re at the May 29th date,” Eads said, adding that she hopes defense attorneys Ben Okin and Patrik Griego will be prepared to proceed.
Kiya Kitchen and her friend Faith Tsarnas, both 14, died after being run over by Marci Kitchen’s Jeep Wrangler on Eel River Drive in Fortuna. Kitchen, now 40, was arrested after a two-month investigation by the California Highway Patrol. She posted $750,000 bail and remains out of custody, though she surrendered her passport and can’t leave California without court permission.
This morning Judge Boren agreed with Eads that this is a serious case and should proceed as quickly as possible. But with Humboldt County’s jam-packed court schedule, May 29 was the earliest date possible.
Kitchen’s trial is one of dozens of homicide and attempted-homicide cases moving slowly through the overburdened court system. Another local vehicular manslaughter suspect, Melissa “Missy” Munsell, was charged in May of 2015 and has still not gone to trial.
- Fortuna Fatal Hit-and-Run: CHP Seeks Public’s Help in Tracking Down Marcia Kitchen and Josh Pearlston
- Marci Kitchen, Suspect in Death of Two Girls in Fortuna, Arrested on Vehicular Manslaughter Charges, Released on Bail
- Marci Kitchen Will be Arraigned This Afternoon on Numerous Charges, Including Gross Vehicular Manslaughter, Sheriff’s Office Says
- Marci Kitchen Arraigned for Killing Her Daughter, Another Teen in Hit-and-Run
- Marcia ‘Marci’ Kitchen Hearing Postponed Until March
- Facing Charges of Killing Her Own Daughter and Another Teen in Hit-and-Run, Marcia Kitchen Files Claims For Damages Due to Road Conditions
- Kitchen Trial Delayed Again; Preliminary Hearing on Manslaughter Charges Against Fortuna Mom Now Scheduled For May, Expected to Last Five Days
- Marci Kitchen Has 48 Hours to Hand Over Her Passport
- Marci Kitchen Surrenders Passport, Receives Court Permission to Travel to Oregon for Boyfriend’s Grandmother’s Birthday Party
- KITCHEN CASE: After Much Delay, Five-Day Pretrial Hearing of Accused Drunk-Driving Killer of Two Teenage Girls Will Start May 8
- KITCHEN HEARING DAY ONE: Kitchen Told Friend She ‘Hit the Girls,’ Initially Thought She’d Hit a Deer, CHP Officer Testifies; Collision Scene Described
- KITCHEN HEARING, DAY TWO: Marci Kitchen’s Son Testifies That His Mother Killed His Sister and Her Friend While Drunk, Then Tried to Cover Up the Crime
- KITCHEN HEARING, DAY THREE: Suspect’s Son Cross-Examined By Defense Attorneys, But Judge Holds Kitchen to Answer On All Charges
- Additional Charges Filed Against Marci Kitchen During Today’s Arraignment; Trial Date to Be Decided in June
- Marci Kitchen Trial Date Set for November; Full Proceedings Expected to Last One Month
- Marci Kitchen Trial Delayed Yet Again, After Defense Attorney Raises Questions About CHP Investigation