Murder defendant Joseph Quintana Jr. of Pendleton faces more felony crimes. And the state pushed back the start of his murder trial, according to court records.
Prosecutors Friday in Pendleton asked Umatilla County Circuit Judge Lynn Hampton for more time to review the defense's psychological evaluation of Quintana and to line up expert witnesses. Hampton granted the motion, and the court set the murder trial for Aug. 25 to Sept. 5.
Court records also show the 34-year-old Quintana in February pleaded not guilty to assaults in 2013 at the Umatilla County Jail, Pendleton, including against a corrections officer.
Quintana has been in the Umatilla County Jail, Pendleton, on a murder charge since July 18, 2012, after confessing to stabbing and killing Allen Spencer two years before in Pendleton. Umatilla County Sheriff Terry Rowan said Quintana has not been a model inmate.
Quintana used a cup and the floor as weapons when he attacked inmate Richard Allen Allison, 52, on April 5, 2013, according to a grand jury indictment. Rowan said he did not recall what started the fight, but Quintana beat and injured Allison, who required medical treatment for his injuries.
Quintana got into a second fight with an inmate Oct. 30, 2013, court records show. Rowan said inmate Russell Wayne Haney, 47, now in state prison, turned a channel on the TV inmates were watching, and that set off Quintana. Rowan said jail corrections officer Luell Morse stepped in to break up the fight, and Quintana swung on him and landed several blows.
Neither Morse nor Haney suffered serious injury, Rowan said.
Quintana pleaded not guilty Feb. 21 to two counts of second-degree assault for attacking Allison, and not guilty to assaulting a public safety officer and misdemeanor fourth-degree assault in the second attack. The first case goes to trial June 25 and the second June 26.
And murder defendant George West Craigen now has two criminal cases stemming from the late 2011 homicide of Rob "Cecil" Carter of Milton-Freewater. Per an order from a judge, the Umatilla County District Attorney's Office split the murder case from the five counts of unlawful possession of an explosive device.
Craigen, 51, of Milton-Freewater, pleaded not guilty again to charges of murder, manslaughter, recklessly endangering others and weapons crimes, according to court records. He also pleaded not guilty to the explosive charges.
His murder trial begins May 25 in circuit court in Pendleton.
Contact Phil Wright at email@example.com or 541-966-0833.
This story originally appeared in East Oregonian.