- Brian Chilson
- JOSH HASTINGS: Trial set Sept. 16
Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen has denied a state request to postpone the planned Sept. 16 start date of the retrial of former Little Rock police patrol officer Josh Hastings in the slaying of a car break-in suspect on a West Little Rock apartment complex lot.
Hastings’ first trial ended in a hung jury. It was split, jurors said, heavily in favor of conviction, but with implacable holdouts. The state said two of its expert witnesses, Dr. Daniel Dye, associate medical examiner, and John Bentley, an accident reconstruction expert, couldn’t testify at the same time until December.
Expert testimony on reconstruction of events that night, particularly the path of the car driven by the suspect, Bobby Moore, 15, and the path taken by the fatal bullet, was critical in the case.
The judge said in his order that the state had had sufficient time since the new trial date was set June 23 to “hone” the schedule for the two witnesses and he said the court would work with the state and defense to allow the “timely” testimony of the experts.
The judge also cited the shorter days in December (he doesn’t like to release jurors after dark each evening) and the nearness of holidays as a problem for jurors facing a three-week trial. He set a schedule for pre-trial motions.