The defense attorney of a man accused of killing a 17-year-old Whitewater girl last summer requested Thursday that his client's trial be delayed because he believes a member of his defense team may have falsified his resume, according to court records.
Israel Massingill, 20, was expected to stand trial next month for the July 2017 slaying of Kiera Quintana, who was giving Massingill and another woman a ride when she was shot and killed, according to earlier reports.
In a written motion filed July 12, defense attorney Steve Laiche asked for Massingill's trial to be delayed, noting "disruptions" in the defense team.
"Counsel recently discovered that a purported expert working for Mr. Massingill may not have the training and experience as he represented to counsel," Laiche wrote. "This witness conducted examinations of evidence, photographing the scene and other items. All of his work may need to be repeated."
Laiche added that because the scientific evidence in Massingill's case is "voluminous," he would not have enough time to prepare for trial.
Laiche didn't name the man in his motion, or describe what he was expected to testify about. However, at Thursday's hearing before District Judge Gretchen Larson, Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein said he had learned that the man was expected to be "central" to Laiche's defense strategy at trial.
Rubinstein didn't object to Laiche's request, and Larson rescheduled the trial for February 2019.
Rubinstein said later that the allegations against the unnamed defense expert were "concerning if true."
"I don't have any personal information, and my office is not in possession of any information at this point that would show that the allegations are true," he said.
Rubinstein said his office is "actively looking into" whether prosecutors have ever called the man as a witness or endorsed him as a witness themselves; whether he has in fact ever testified in court; and if so whether he has testified as an expert.
If he has not done any of those things, Rubinstein said his office wouldn't look further into whether the man has lied to attorneys he has worked for in the past, because those actions wouldn't have impacted criminal cases.