Trial date changed once again

MAYVILLE – For the second time, the start date for the manslaughter trial of Theodore Wickham has been changed, this time to Jan. 21.

According to Chautauqua County Courthouse Chief Clerk Kathleen Krauza, Judge John Ward, who is presiding over the case, changed the date.

“It’s not unusual to adjourn a trial to a later date in any case,” she said. “I don’t exactly know why Judge Ward moved the date and he cannot directly talk with the media regarding the case. But, in any case, it could be depending on the defense, who can make the motion to adjourn, or the prosecution, or even the court can make the motion based on availability within their schedules.”

First Assistant Tim Pelletier of the County Public Defender’s Office echoed Krauza’s sentiments.

“The court calendar reflects a number of different cases at a time and when it comes out, it’s not unusual to see a date change,” he said. “There’s nothing of particular note in this case that explains the date change, other than the fact that we have so many judges, so many public defenders and so many prosecutors to take on cases and manage their time. This doesn’t surprise me in this case.”

County District Attorney David Foley said he, like Pelletier, did not know of anything of particular significance to warrant a date change.

Wickham is accused of killing Frank Slate Jr. of Fredonia in September 2012. He was charged with second-degree manslaughter after he allegedly shot Slate with a 16-gauge shotgun following an argument between them.

The original trial date in the Wickham case (Aug. 6) was first changed when Foley and Wickham’s defense counsel agreed to move it to Oct. 29 due to the close proximity with the date of a second high-profile case for Anthony Taglianetti, the man accused of shooting Clymer Central School Superintendent Keith Reed Jr. in September 2012.

Taglianetti, whose case is currently in the process of jury selection, is charged with second-degree murder. Both he and Wickham are being represented by Public Defender Nathaniel Barone Jr.

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