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UPDATE: Derrick Washington granted continuance

Monday, June 20, 2011 | 4:48 p.m. CDT; updated 2:50 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 19, 2011

COLUMBIA — Derrick Washington may not be seeing jurors until early fall, according to an estimate made by prosecuting attorney Andrea Hayes.

The former MU football player stood before Judge Kevin Crane and was granted a continuance at a preliminary hearing Monday for a deviate sexual assault trial that was set for next week.

A new trial date will be decided by July 5, but Hayes said it’s likely he might not face a jury until August or September.

“This isn’t unusual in felonies,” Hayes said, adding that this was the latest of several delays on the jury trial. “When the defendant is out on bond, it can take as long as a year to go to trial.”

According to Missouri Case.net, Washington's case has been continued five times so far.

Washington’s attorney, Christopher Slusher, requested the extension and said the “parties needed more time to prepare.”

Additionally, the defense made requests regarding the trial period for witnesses who will be brought in from out of state.

"The parties have asked the judge for a special setting so the parties know exactly when the case will go to trial," Slusher said. He said it will be beneficial to know exactly when the trial will be held so they can make travel arrangements.

The attorney additionally requested a two-day trial, citing the gravity of the accused offenses.

“It’s a serious case,” he said. “The cross examination could be lengthy for some witnesses.”

Slusher additionally said because of pre-trial publicity, the juror selection could be prolonged. “Sometimes it takes longer when you have those issues.”

Washington was arrested last August when a former tutor accused him of sexually assaulting her while she was sleeping in her bedroom.

His legal troubles were exacerbated in September when a former girlfriend claimed he struck her several times in the face and forcibly pressed his fingers down on her eyes. Washington was arrested on third-degree domestic assault charges several hours later.

The former running back is scheduled to go to trial for the domestic assault charge on Wednesday, but Slusher anticipates this will be delayed as well. Missouri Case.net indicates it has been continued seven times.

“It’s not unusual for the misdemeanor to be put off to allow the more serious case to go first,” he said.


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