Due to COVID-19 complications, Judge Lisa A. Warren has decided to postpone the trial for other reasons

One day after denying a defense request to delay the murder trial of Orleans resident Randall Swartz due to COVID-19 complications, Judge Lisa A. Warren has decided to postpone the trial for other reasons. Swartz, 61, is accused of shooting his wife Thea to death at their home in 2018. His trial was scheduled to begin this week at the Lamoille County Courthouse with a jury draw scheduled for today & tomorrow and the trial starting on Wednesday. But Swartz’s defense attorney, Robert W. Katims of Burlington, told the court that he just received two thumb drives containing “significant amounts of material” and that the trial should be delayed so has enough time to find out what’s on those drives. Judge Warren took testimony on the digital devices on Thursday and issued her ruling on Friday.  “The State represented that the Vermont State Police conducted an electronic search of Defendant’s and Thea Swartz’s residence and personal devices in April 2019 and indicated that the State Attorney’s Office did not receive the results of these searches until February 18, 2022,” wrote Judge Warren in her decision. “The State promptly delivered the discovery to defense counsel on February 18, 2022. Attorney Katims was unable to review the first thumb drive immediately upon receipt and upon trying to review it, was unable to access the media on that device.”  Orleans County State’s Attorney Jennifer Barrett opposed Katims’ request to postpone the trial arguing that there was nothing important on the devices. But Judge Warren ruled in Katims’ favor.  After granting Katims’ motion, Judge Warren said the Court will schedule a status conference in the next few weeks to determine how much time the defense needs to review the electronic data and will then reschedule the jury draw and trial as soon as possible.

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