The trial scheduled for later this month in the 2011 murder of Evelynne Derricott has been canceled with a pretrial hearing now set for May 7.
Rogelio Diaz Jr., 26, of West Valley City, is charged with first-degree felony murder, first-degree felony aggravated burglary and second-degree felony theft. He pleaded not guilty to the charges during an appearance in 3rd District Court in November 2016.
During a final pretrial conference on Tuesday, the jury trial set for April 22-26 was struck by 3rd District Court Judge Matthew Bates and a pretrial conference was scheduled for May 7 at 9 a.m. Diaz’s attorney, Edward Brass, said the defense was not ready to go to trial as an expert witness was not ready.
The Diaz murder trial has been rescheduled several times, most recently in November 2018, when a jury trial was canceled that was originally scheduled for Nov. 26-28. The current court dates, struck on Tuesday, were scheduled on Dec. 4.
Diaz was arrested in May 2016 in connection with the October 2011 murder of Tooele City resident Evelynne Derricott.
Tooele City police detectives received a break in the case when they used familial DNA testing, a technique that matches samples of DNA evidence from a crime scene to relatives in the state’s DNA identification system.
DNA samples found on a hammer, believed to be the murder weapon, and on the steering wheel of Derricott’s stolen car, were a near match to a member of Diaz’s family in the state’s DNA database.
Police were able to eliminate other family members who were already in the state DNA database or outside the country at the time of Derricott’s murder.
After narrowing in on Diaz, police obtained DNA samples from a used energy drink can and work gloves that he discarded. The DNA profile from the can and gloves matched the DNA found on the hammer and steering wheel and Diaz was arrested.