BY JASON KOTOWSKI Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Sentencing for a gang member convicted of murder in the robbery last year of an elderly woman was postponed yet again Wednesday after the man's attorney filed a last minute motion for another continuance.
The delay did not please Judge Thomas S. Clark, who three times has postponed sentencing for defendant Maxamillon Lee McDonald -- twice after he switched attorneys.
"I want to emphasize how unhappy I am I'm looking at another request for a continuance," Clark said.
The judge noted that a number of people in his courtroom Wednesday have been inconvenienced by the repeated postponements. He apologized to them after "very reluctantly" granting the latest postponement.
McDonald's attorney, Fred Dorton, filed a motion for a new trial Wednesday morning, and prosecutor Eric Smith said he received it just before arriving at court. Clark set a new sentencing date of Sept. 17.
"I do not expect to look favorably on any motions for continuance or extensions beyond this date," Clark said.
McDonald, 27, was found guilty in April of murder, robbery and participating in a criminal street gang in connection with the death of 72-year-old Guadalupe Ramos.
Prosecutors have said Ramos was walking to her car in the parking lot of Foods Co. on Haley Street on Aug. 19, 2012 when Christopher Harvell Patterson yanked a necklace from her, sending her to the ground. She died of cardiac arrest.
Patterson ran to a car McDonald was driving and that held a third defendant, Lawrence Gregory Slaughter, and the three fled. Slaughter was on parole at the time and his ankle monitor gave a precise reading of his whereabouts the night of the robbery, according to Bakersfield police reports.
Slaughter was convicted and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Patterson's next court date is scheduled for Monday.