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State seeks to join Hahn trials

The deputy prosecutor in Aaron Hahn's two felony trials has asked for reconsideration of a March 20 decision not to consolidate them.

A hearing on the motion before Judge Brooke Taylor is set for 1:30 p.m. Friday, June 5, in Clallam County Superior Court.

Hahn's trial on child rape and related charges, originally set to begin May 18, was rescheduled to July 13 in Taylor's court.

The delay was granted by Judge Ken Williams to give Gary Sund, Hahn's defense attorney in that case, more time to prepare.

William Payne, deputy prosecutor, had argued that evidence presented in one trial would be necessary for the other but Taylor disagreed.

Ralph Anderson is Hahn's attorney for the murder solicitation trial, which is set for June 15. Anderson agreed with Taylor's initial decision.

"We (Anderson and Sund) both object to joining the two cases because that would make it impossible to get a fair trial, and the judge agreed," he said.

If two cases remain separate, he may ask for a continuance of Hahn's murder-for-hire trial until after the child rape trial is decided, Anderson said.

"The prosecution wants to try both in one case." he said.

"The murder case happened afterward, and that makes it impossible to get a fair trial. It makes sense to pursue the rape case first."

Payne said consolidating the two cases wouldn't create problems for either one.

"I think they should be joined in the interests of judicial economy," he said.

"That's always been what we thought.

"I think they should be joined, but I don't particularly care which one goes first if they aren't joined.

"I don't want to try the cases both twice. We're going to go forward on both and if he needs to move one, then it doesn't matter."



Reach Brian Gawley at bgawley@sequimgazette.com.

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