Caution: The next article incorporates graphic main points involving homicide and sexual attack.
The person accused of killing skilled poker participant Susie Zhao had a pretrial listening to closing week and won a brand new trial date.
Jeffery Bernard Morris, 61, faces two counts of legal homicide in Michigan’s Oakland County Circuit Courtroom for the alleged killing of Zhao, whose badly burned and mutilated frame was once came upon in a state sport space in July 2020.
As PokerNews reported last month, Morris’ trial was once to begin with slated to start in 2021 however underwent a sequence of delays led to via the COVID-19 pandemic, adjustments in suggest and a clerical error because the case was once certain over to the Circuit Courtroom.
Morris, dressed in an orange jumpsuit and with a material masks pulled over his chin, gave the impression at a pretrial listening to by means of Zoom on Thursday, Feb. 17, all through which Oakland County Circuit Pass judgement on Martha Anderson scheduled a brand new trial date for Sept. 26. Prior to the brand new date was once set, the trial were scheduled to start out on June 16, in step with courtroom paperwork.
The Oakland Press reported that the later date were asked via protection lawyer Michael McCarthy, who changed Pamela Johnson as Morris’ suggest in December 2021.
“My predecessor had the case for neatly over a 12 months,” mentioned McCarthy, who in his request for a later date additionally famous that Morris had raised “investigative problems … that it appears weren’t raised sooner than.”
Zhao, who grew up in Michigan after immigrating from China as a tender kid, was once a standard within the Los Angeles poker scene and made appearances at the Bicycle On line casino’s “Reside on the Motorbike” money recreation circulate. The 33-year-old gathered $222,671 in are living event income, together with a Ninetieth-place end within the 2015 International Collection of Poker (WSOP) Major Tournament for $73,805.
Oakland prosecutors allege that Morris, a convicted intercourse wrongdoer with a violent legal historical past, met Zhao at Sherwood Motel in Michigan in July 2020, the place she was once sexually assaulted, certain and lit on hearth sooner than she died. Zhao had just lately moved again to Michigan after residing in LA.
Morris was once charged with first-degree premeditated homicide in September 2020, whilst a 2d homicide price was once later added as main points emerged within the case. He stays in custody in Oakland County Prison.
PokerNews will proceed to observe the Zhao homicide trial because the case strikes ahead.