The jury trial for Rogelio Diaz Jr., charged in the 2011 death of Evelynne Derricott, was scheduled to begin next week.
Now, the trial is scheduled for a Sept. 24 start date, at the request of Diaz’s attorney, Edward Brass, during a final pretrial conference in 3rd District Court on Tuesday morning. Brass said the case was one where scientific evidence is crucial and the defense wasn’t quite prepared yet.
Diaz, 25, 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.
A final pretrial conference is set for Sept. 11 at 9 a.m. before 3rd District Court Judge Matthew Bates.
Diaz’s trial was previously pushed back during a Dec. 19 pretrial conference, when it was scheduled to begin Jan. 17.
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.