The trial of a Bucyrus man accused of making death threats against the then-governor-elect in Arizona has been postponed until June 6 after his lawyer requested more time to prepare.
Joshua Russell, 44, 423 Dudley St., was indicted Dec. 14 on three charges of making interstate threats and three charges of making a threatening interstate telephone call, according to records from the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. The charges allege that on three occasions, he left messages with the Arizona Secretary of State's Office in which he threatened to injure or kill a specific individual, whose name is not included in court documents.
Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who at the time was Arizona's secretary of state, was elected the state's governor in November. She was sworn in as governor on Jan. 2.
Jazmin Jhovana Alagha, an assistant federal public defender, has been appointed to represent Russell.
Originally, a trial date had been set for March 7, but on Friday, the defense filed a motion in the Arizona district court requesting that the trial be postponed at least 90 days.
"Additional time will be necessary for defense counsel to review the discovery, investigate the case, engage in plea negotiations, prepare for trial and render the effective assistance of counsel to the defendant," the motion states. The motion also seeks an additional 90 days for filing pretrial motions.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Steven P. Logan granted that request, postponing the trial until 9 a.m. June 6 and extending the deadline for pretrial motions until May 1.
"This finding is based upon the court's conclusion that the failure to grant such a continuance would deny the defendant the reasonable time necessary for effective preparation, taking into account the exercise of due diligence," Logan's ruling states.
Russell was arrested following a search of his home by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Dec. 8.
Russell's bond was set at $20,000, and according to court records, he was released Dec. 20 with the conditions that he not violate federal, state or local laws; cooperate in collection of a DNA sample if it is authorized; advise the court in writing before changing his address or telephone number, and appear in court when ordered to do so.
This article originally appeared on Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum: Trial date set for Bucyrus man accused of threatening Arizona official