Local News in Brief : McMartin Trial Will Not Be Over Soon

The long-running McMartin Preschool molestation trial is going to run even longer than predicted--probably until autumn, the trial judge said Tuesday.

“I wish all of you a happy new year and an end in 1989 to our sufferings in court,” Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William Pounders told lawyers as they returned from a holiday recess.

Pounders then asked for a “realistic estimate” from defense lawyers on when their case might conclude. Danny Davis, who represents defendant Raymond Buckey, said the defense case will probably go “well into May.”


The judge, noting that prosecutors have estimated two months for rebuttal and the defense an additional month, said that with a month of final arguments, the case probably won’t reach jurors before September.

Jurors, who have been serving on the case for a year and a half, had been told that the trial would conclude in April.

Buckey, 30, and his mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey, 61, are charged with 65 molestation and conspiracy charges stemming from their operation of the defunct McMartin Pre-School in Manhattan Beach.