Thursday, August 19, 2010

Simlick preliminary hearing to go Sept. 8

by Sam Pierce

A Sutter County judge set a preliminary hearing Wednesday into charges Joseph Hayden Simlick falsely imprisoned a girl and then caused her parents to be burned to death in a fire at their Sutter home July 29.

Superior Court Judge Chris Chandler scheduled the hearing for 1:30 p.m. Sept. 8. Meantime, Simlick, 21, of Rio Linda, remains held without bail at the Sutter County Jail.

People v. Simlick, cases #10-1786 and #10-1787 charge Simlick with special circumstances murder in the deaths of Jack and Susan Martin, both 46, and with false imprisonment for holding their daughter elsewhere against her wishes.

As so far disclosed by law enforcement, Simlick held the Martin’s youngest daughter for some five days prior to the parents’ deaths.

Simlick has pleaded innocent to all charges.

If convicted of the murders, Simlick could be sentenced to death or life in prison with no possibility of parole.

Courtroom packed again ...

Chandler’s courtroom, Department #1 upstairs at the Sutter County courthouse on Second St., Yuba City, was again packed with spectators, many from Simlick's family and the victims' families.

The hearing was held under heavy security, with eight lawmen – bailiffs, transport deputies and detectives – guarding Simlick and ringing spectators in the public gallery. That would be about half the security force displayed at the arraignment hearing.

Defense attorney Linda Parisi, of Sacramento, said Wednesday that she has been retained to represent Simlick – an issue that remained unresolved at the end of the arraignment.

Parisi also asked Chandler to rule that the press and public not be given access to documents or other evidentiary materials related to the case before the defense had first viewed it.

Chandler so ruled.

with Tom Nadeau


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