A money shortage is holding up the murder trial of Eric Jason Lively, accused of running over and killing his neighbor on May 3 in Shelter Cove.
This morning attorney David Celli, representing the 45-year-old Lively, told Judge John Feeney that Lively is still waiting for an insurance settlement. He needs the funds to pay for an accident-reconstruction expert to testify on his behalf. Celli requested a one-week delay in the trial, set to begin Monday.
Feeney denied Celli’s oral motion to continue but told him to put it in writing.
Lively allegedly ran over and killed his neighbor Jesse Simpson, with whom he had a longstanding feud. He was arrested the same day and has been in Humboldt County Correctional Facility for a little more than six months.
Today Deputy District Attorney Adrian Kamada objected to the continuance, saying Celli’s partner Russ Clanton told the court Oct. 31 that the insurance settlement would be paid soon.
“We’re in exactly the same place we were two weeks ago,” Kamada said, “with the same issue.”
Kamada said he has received “not one piece” of evidence from the defense.
Simpson, 42, reportedly was using a weed-eater on a lawn near a Shelter Cove intersection when Lively’s Toyota Tacoma pickup truck struck him. During Lively’s preliminary hearing, Clanton pointed out Simpson’s gardening equipment was found not on the lawn but in the street. Clanton argued Simpson must have jumped in front of Lively’s truck.
Witnesses testified during the hearing that Lively was known for violent behavior and making threats, and had spoken specifically about killing his neighbor.
At least until Celli files a written motion to continue, the trial remains set for Monday.
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