A brief hearing on Friday morning shifted dates and pushed the trial of Jennifer Ewing to January.
Ewing, who appeared with her attorney, Michael Atwell, will now stand trial on Jan. 8, 2013, for an estimated 20 days. The November trial date has been vacated. Atwell said that, due to personal matters, he has been absent from court, having other attorneys specially appear on his behalf, and he has been unable to do the work necessary to prepare for the trial.
He also noted that, in the past several days, Lisette Suder and the District Attorney’s Office had provided more discovery, which he called “very persuasive” for both sides of the argument.
Before the hearing ended, Suder informed Atwell and Judge Daniel B. Proud that any offers for a plea deal would end after the Nov. 7 hearing, as too much prep work would have to be done for the trial to accept a plea. Proud suggested that offers remain open until a week before trial, but Suder was adamant.
Ewing allegedly locked her son, Sebastian, in his room the night a fire consumed the home. He was trapped inside and, according to an autopsy report, died of smoke inhalation and fire-related injuries. In pre-trial documents, Ewing claimed that she had been asleep when the fire started. Due to the intensity of the fire, she was unable to rescue her son.
The next hearing in the matter will be a readiness and settlement hearing scheduled for Dec. 7 at 8:30 a.m.