Preliminary hearing postponed in Waterford fatal shooting

11/01/2013 5:15 PM

11/01/2013 11:22 PM

A preliminary hearing in a 2010 Waterford slaying was postponed because the prosecutor said authorities have not yet served subpoenas to four witnesses who could possibly testify in the case.

Jose Luis Solis Jr., 33, of Waterford is charged with murder in the death of 27-year-old Billy Miller, who was shot in the chest.

Stanislaus County sheriff’s deputies found Miller dead at an apartment complex near Dorsey and E streets. Authorities have said Miller and Solis knew each other and that they were fighting before the shooting.

Solis appeared in court briefly Friday morning, when his preliminary hearing was scheduled to start.

Deputy District Attorney Jared Carrillo asked the judge to postpone the hearin, because authorities had not contacted four people who witnessed the fight before the shooting, which occurred May 14, 2010. He said two of the witnesses have since moved out of California.

The prosecutor told the judge he could proceed with the preliminary hearing without the witnesses, but he would prefer to wait and test the level of the witnesses’ cooperation if they were needed to testify in a trial.

Stanislaus Superior Court Judge Dawna Reeves has not ordered a trial. She will decide at the conclusion of the preliminary hearing whether there is enough evidence for Solis to stand trial.

Matthew Yeoman, Solis’ defense attorney, told the judge that he also would like to wait until the witnesses have been contacted, hoping he can cross-examine them in the preliminary hearing.

The judge granted the request to delay the preliminary hearing and scheduled Solis to return to court Dec. 4 to determine whether the witnesses have been contacted and reschedule the hearing.

The defendant remains in custody in the Stanislaus County Jail.

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