More delays in Arizona murder case of Tahoe man
MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz — More delays in Arizona murder case of Tahoe man The cases of two suspects in the Arizona murder of South Shore man Matthew McMaster encountered further delays and trial dates for both have been postponed.
Vrouyr Manoukian, who faces charges of second-degree murder and attempting to dispose of McMaster’s remains, was previously scheduled to begin trial earlier this month, but ongoing setbacks in pretrial matters have pushed back the date. He is now scheduled to appear in court for an evidentiary hearing, as well as a trial management conference on March 6.
According to court document made available Tuesday, the case has faced delays with witness interviews. Additionally, a motion by the defense to modify Manoukian’s bond and to suppress statements and physical evidence has represented further postponements.
According to the documents, at least one interview with a detective likely to testify has not been conducted. Furthermore, the defense has not received copies of transcribed jail calls, several supplemental police reports and McMaster’s medical records, which are part of the medical examiner’s report.
Court documents previously revealed that between 15 and 20 witnesses are likely to testify in trial. In late January, there were still seven witnesses that needed to be interviewed.
The court considered that “delay is indispensable to the interest of justice,” court documents stated.
In the case of Randall Lee Young, who faces a charge of abandoning or concealing McMaster’s body, the court is awaiting an evaluation by two separate doctors to determine Young’s competence. A report is expected to be completed this week.
Young is scheduled to appear in court for a competency hearing Thursday. Young’s final trial management conference was previously scheduled for Feb. 10.
The two men are being prosecuted for their alleged involvement in the July 2012 murder of McMaster, who was reportedly killed during a physical altercation at the residence he shared with Manoukian in Phoenix, Arizona.
According to an autopsy report, McMaster died from blunt force trauma to the head. Manoukian is suspected of delivering the deadly blow.
McMaster’s remains were found tied up resting on a love seat. They were burned along with other furniture items.
Manoukian was arrested in connection with the murder on May 31, 2013, nearly a year after McMaster’s death. Investigators would have to wait more than a year until DNA evidence recovered at the site where McMaster’s body was abandoned led a grand jury to indict Young on Aug. 8.
McMaster moved to Arizona months before the incident and lived with Manoukian while they both attended motorcycle mechanic’s school. He was raised on the South Shore and attended George Whittell High School.
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