Toufic Naddi will go on trial a second time May 15 to resolve the question of his sanity at the time he killed his wife and four members of her family.
The extended trial date was arranged so that his latest attorney--his 10th--can prepare for the case and look over the thousands of police and court documents.
Attorney C. Logan McKechnie was appointed Monday by San Diego Superior Court Judge Terry O’Rourke.
Naddi, 47, of El Cajon, was convicted June 8 of five first-degree murder counts involving the June 1, 1985, slayings of his wife, her parents, her cousin and her brother-in-law.
At issue is whether Naddi was insane at the time of the killings, in which each victim was shot repeatedly in the head. The killings took place in the home of Naddi’s in-laws on Carlow Way in El Cajon.
Naddi, who has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, could spend the rest of his life in a state mental hospital if found insane. However, if found sane, the same jury would deliberate whether Naddi should be put to death or be sentenced to life imprisonment without possibility of parole.
Jurors deadlocked, 11-1, on July 1 in favor of declaring Naddi sane. O’Rourke declared a mistrial.
The judge, Naddi, and his last two attorneys, Robert Bourne and Eric Orloff, held secret meetings the last few weeks to discuss their representation of him. At the conclusion of the hearings, Bourne said that he and Orloff were leaving the case by mutual consent.
Naddi took the stand in May against his lawyers’ advice and told jurors that it was God’s “will that I kill those people” because “God had set up the scene” for him.
Naddi has persistently believed that his father-in-law, Habib Sabbagh, 73, had an affair with Naddi’s wife, Aida Naddi, 26.
O’Rourke set a Sept. 19 hearing for a status conference.
The others killed were Lillian Sabbagh, 58; Michael Sabbagh, 38, and Osama Mashini, 38.