PHOENIX - Less than a month before Mark Goudeau, a suspect in the Baseline Killer case, is set to go on trial in the slayings of eight women and one man, his lawyer wants to send his murder case back to a grand jury.
Lawyer Rodrick Carter claims the grand jury that returned an indictment of Goudeau last year was biased. He said Friday it’s likely the Aug. 6 trial date will be pushed back while a judge can decide the matter.
County Attorney Andrew Thomas said he will push to get a trial started as soon as possible.
“Our office will do its utmost to make sure this case moves forward to trial despite these last-minute efforts,” Thomas said in a statement.
Goudeau faces 74 criminal charges, including nine murder counts, stemming from a crime spree in 2005 and 2006 that police have attributed to the “Baseline Killer,” named for the south Phoenix street where many of the early attacks took place. He has pleaded not guilty.
The slayings were behind one of two serial slaying investigations that put the Valley on edge for months during the summer of 2006.
In addition to the Baseline Killer case, assailants dubbed the “serial shooters” were also on the loose. One of two men arrested in that case has pleaded guilty to two counts of murder. Samuel Dieteman agreed to testify against his co-defendant, Dale Hausner, who faces eight murder charges and has pleaded not guilty.
In court documents, Goudeau’s lawyer pointed out that the grand jury forewoman was Goudeau’s neighbor. During a Jan. 12, 2007, hearing, the forewoman told prosecutors that media reports about the killings made her scared of him.
The forewoman added that she was “prejudicial somewhat toward him,” according to court documents.
When prosecutor William Clayton asked her to elaborate, she said in front of other jurors that: “I was just — I’m scared because I’m thinking, you know, he was just like right on the street right next to me and if indeed, you know, (he) committed these things, it just — it made me scared to think I live nearby.”
Prosecutors point out in a response to Carter’s request that the forewoman said during the hearing that she had not made her mind up about the truth of the allegations against Goudeau. The forewoman also said she could be impartial in the case.
Four days later, on Jan. 16, 2007, the grand jury returned an indictment against Goudeau.
Judge Warren Granville scheduled a hearing on Aug. 1 to discuss the issue.
The next trial for Goudeau will be his second in the Baseline Killer case. Goudeau was convicted last year of sexually assaulting two sisters — attacks also blamed on the Baseline Killer — and sentenced to 438 years in prison.