Elisabeth Anne (Betty) Broderick’s murder trial in the slaying of her ex-husband will begin in Vista Superior Court on Sept. 18, unless her defense attorney successfully argues that the case shouldn’t be heard in North County.
Superior Court Judge Franklin J. Mitchell Jr. told attorneys for both sides Thursday that he wants to begin jury selection Sept. 6 and be ready for opening statements Sept. 18 in the trial that is expected to last at least four weeks.
But Broderick’s attorney, Jack M. Earley, said he expects to file a motion by next Tuesday asking that Mitchell disqualify himself as the judge because he works in the same courthouse where his client and Daniel T. Broderick III filed for divorce. Part of that divorce file was lost somewhere in the courthouse, Earley said, and that might become an issue in her defense and create a conflict if heard in the court of another Vista judge.
Earley said he still hopes the trial will be held in San Diego, for logistics reasons, but that it be heard by an out-of-town judge who has had no contact with Daniel Broderick, who was a prominent medical malpractice attorney.
Betty Broderick, 42, is accused of murdering her ex-husband and his wife, Linda Kolkena Broderick, 28, last November. She has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail.
The trial had been set to start July 16, but Earley asked for the extension into September. His client initially balked at the delay, Earley said, “But I told her, it doesn’t do any good just to get it done. You get your day in court, but you will only get the one day.”