RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. — A pretrial hearing in the Mercedes Carrera case has been postponed once again. The newly rescheduled date of May 1 pushes the start of the actual trial to sometime before July 1.
Carrera’s public defender, Joshua Castro, told the judge he was still “in an investigative phase.”
The hearing was held this morning at the Rancho Cucamonga courthouse. Judge Katrina West of the San Bernardino County Superior Court presided.
Carrera and her husband Jason Whitney were arrested a year ago, on February 1, 2019, after the Rancho Cucamonga police department raided their home. The raid followed an interview the previous day by a Twin Peaks Police Department officer with Carrera’s nine-year-old daughter from a previous relationship.
Carrera and Whitney were initially accused of several charges of sexual abuse of a minor, plus guns and drugs charges. After the preliminary hearing, when the state played a recording of the Twin Peaks PD interview with the child on January 31, 2019, the guns and drugs charges were dropped.
The couple has pled innocent of all charges. Carrera is represented by a San Bernardino County Public Defender and Whitney is represented by a private lawyer acting as a “conflict board lawyer” for the county.
Carrera and Whitney have been held in San Bernardino County correctional facilities for a year now, following multiple delays that have stretched the definition of the constitutionally mandated “speedy trial.”
The taped interview with the minor and the testimony of Twin Peaks and Rancho Cucamonga law enforcement officers are the only pieces of evidence made public by the State at this point.
Carrera recently spoke to XBIZ by phone from the Central Detention Center in San Bernardino on the eve of the first anniversary of her incarceration and appeared hopeful that the trial would move forward after today’s pretrial hearing.
For more XBIZ coverage of this story, click here.