Crime, Fire + Courts

April date set for Davis murder trial

By From page A1 | March 24, 2013

James Mings. Enterprise photo

James Mings. Enterprise photo

WOODLAND — Davis murder suspect James Elron Mings is scheduled to go to trial in late April, although which Yolo Superior Court judge will hear the case remains unclear.

Mings, 38, is accused of fatally strangling 42-year-old Kevin Gerard Seery in the victim’s J Street apartment on Oct. 1, 2011. Mings reportedly confessed to the killing, saying he was asked by Seery, who suffered from multiple ailments, to help him end his life.

The case was on the verge of going to trial in early March when the prosecuting attorney fell ill during jury selection. Arrangements were made for her supervisor to pick a jury on her behalf, but he later concluded that the attorney assigned to the case should be the one to select the panel.

Judge Paul Richardson declined a request by the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office to continue the trial, however, and he dismissed the case at the request of Mings’ attorney when prosecutors said they were unable to proceed with jury selection. The DA’s Office swiftly refiled the murder charge.

The case was assigned back to Richardson’s courtroom until March 7, when the DA’s office filed an affidavit of prejudice claiming Richardson “is prejudiced against The People or the interests of The People so that affiant believes that The People cannot have a fair and impartial hearing before the judge.”

Mings’ case was reassigned to Judge Timothy Fall’s courtroom, where attorneys on Friday said they have been unable to agree on dates for the two-week trial. Fall then sent the case to Judge Stephen Mock, one of the Yolo judges assigned to hear the court’s longer trials, and Mock set the April 29 trial date.

Mock ordered the case back to court on April 2 to assign a presiding judge. Mings, who has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge, remains in custody at the Yolo County Jail.

— Reach Lauren Keene at [email protected] or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene

Lauren Keene

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