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Kidnaping Suspect’s Trial Postponed Until December : Courts: Longer delay than requested by the defense may benefit the prosecution, which says it will use the extra time for DNA tests.

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The trial of a Michigan man suspected of kidnaping a Val Verde real estate agent was postponed Monday at his lawyer’s request, but the tactic may backfire as a prosecutor announced she will use the time to conduct DNA tests.

A one-month delay in the trial of Timothy Daniel Shue, 38, was sought in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by his attorney, Deputy Federal Public Defender Ellen Barry, who said she needs more time to investigate the case.

But federal Magistrate Edward Rafeedie postponed the trial for nearly three months--from Sept. 13 to Dec. 6--allowing Assistant U.S. Atty. Debra Yang enough time to conduct DNA tests on semen recovered by FBI investigators.

“I wanted a month’s delay, but the prosecution wanted three months and all of a sudden we’ve got three months,” Barry said.

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She declined after the hearing to state specifically why she wanted the one-month delay, except to say that there is a great deal of material to research.

Shue is accused of kidnaping Paula Harrington, 26, by posing as a customer June 29 at the Val Verde real estate office where she worked. He allegedly abducted her at gunpoint after she accompanied him in his vehicle to several houses being offered for sale.

Harrington was found two days later tied up in a motel room in Gila Bend, Ariz., a small town 68 miles southwest of Phoenix. Shue was arrested July 6 in Utah after allegedly displaying a handgun to a topless dancer in a nightclub.

He is in federal custody without bail and faces one federal kidnaping charge and could receive life in prison without parole if convicted. Other law enforcement agencies have said they believe he is responsible for numerous similar crimes in several states.

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Though Harrington has said she was sexually assaulted, Shue has not been charged with sexual assault. Federal prosecutors have said such allegations could be introduced at trial and would add time to any sentence on the kidnaping charge.

Rafeedie ordered Shue to provide a blood sample for the DNA testing and a handwriting sample so prosecutors can match it to the signatures on motel registration cards where he allegedly took Harrington.


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