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PORT HUENEME : Murder Trial Put Off Another Month

The trial of a man accused of masterminding a robbery-turned-homicide in Port Hueneme last year was delayed another month on Monday despite the objections of the prosecutor, who asked that the case begin immediately.

George Pena, a 23-year-old Oxnard man who has been in custody at Ventura County Jail since December, will stand trial on a charge of first-degree murder on Sept. 27, Superior Court Judge Charles R. McGrath ruled on Monday.

Pena is accused in the Dec. 1 shooting death of Richard Schell, a 52-year-old Santa Barbara man who was killed while collecting rent from tenants in his Port Hueneme apartment building. Schell was shot once in the chest when he tried to get away from the robbers.

Three other Oxnard men were charged in the slaying.

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Jose Arreguin, 20, was convicted of first-degree murder; David Lee Soto, 20, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and testified against the others; and Gilbert Martinez, the 16-year-old alleged gunman, was acquitted of murder but found guilty of attempted first-degree robbery.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Donald C. Glynn complained bitterly that the defense attorney representing Pena was undermining his case by repeatedly delaying the trial, which has been put off for months.

But Deputy Public Defender Bryant A. Villagran told McGrath he had not been providedinformation he has requested from prosecutors to put together his defense.


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