File photo: Andrew Goff.

Another lengthy trial continuance has been granted for Arcata rancher Ray Christie, who is facing worsening medical problems.

This morning Judge Gregory Elvine-Kreis granted defense attorney Rick Richmond’s motion to continue the trial, which had been scheduled to begin Jan. 17.

The trial on felony animal cruelty charges was last continued because of Christie’s cancer diagnosis. Now the 57-year-old rancher also has a heart condition and vascular issues.

Outside of court today, Richmond said the site of Christie’s cancer surgery is not healing properly and he needs a second operation.

“During the course of his treatment it was discovered he had a heart condition that may require surgery,” Richmond said. Then, doctors diagnosed Christie with a vascular problem in his leg. That could mean a third surgery.

Christie is unable to come to court and appeared this morning via Zoom.

No new trial date was scheduled. A hearing for a possible trial-setting will be held on March 8, approximately five years after multiple law-enforcement agencies raided properties owned or leased by Christie.

He has already been to trial once and was convicted of numerous misdemeanor counts of dumping cow carcasses too close to state waters. The jury deadlocked on four felony counts of animal cruelty.