DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The trial for a man accused of shooting and killing two teens in a garage has been delayed due to a conflict of interest.
According to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office, the defense attorney for 63-year-old Victor Santana represented one of the witnesses in the case less than two months ago on a misdemeanor case. The attorney is withdrawing from the case and the trial that had been scheduled for Tuesday, June 8 will not go forward.
Santana is accused of shooting and killing 17-year-olds Javier Harrison and Devin Henderson in his garage on Conners Street on August 28, 2019. He is charged with four counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, and five counts of felonious assault. In November 2019, Santana pleaded not guilty to all charges against him in court.
John Amos and Kim Melnick, Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys, said in a statement:
It is frustrating, especially to the families of the deceased, that the trial has once again been delayed. This is made even more so because this conflict could and should have been avoided months ago. The same Public Defender has been representing the defendant for nearly two years. In addition to receiving police reports naming the lone surviving victim/witness in this homicide case, the Public Defender received notice of four subpoenas to that witness, whose name was also included in the list of witnesses.
The Public Defender, who informed the Court of this bizarre issue on the Friday before the trial was supposed to start, says he did not remember that this person was the victim/witness in this homicide case when he agreed to represent him just two months ago.John Amos and Kim Melnick, Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys
The office said the case will now go back on the docket for a scheduling conference on June 21, 2021.