The trial of David Allen Lucas, 29, charged with the murder of two women and a 3-year-old child, has been delayed for five months by a judge's decision Wednesday to appoint an extra defense attorney.
Attorney Alex Landon was added to the case by Superior Court Judge Barbara Gamer, who changed the trial date from May 7 to Oct. 1 to give Landon time to study the case.
Landon said he was appointed because in California a person charged with murder is automatically entitled to a second attorney. "If you ask my opinion, it (the second appointment) should have been done at the outset of the case," Landon added.
Co-counsel G. Anthony Gilham couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday.
Lucas, a self-employed Spring Valley carpet cleaner, has been charged with the slayings of University of San Diego student Anne Catherine Swanke, 22, whose body was found Nov. 20; Rhonda Strang, 24, and Amber Fisher, a 3-year-old Strang was baby-sitting when the two were killed Oct. 23.
Lucas has pleaded innocent to the charges.
Lucas is also charged with attempted murder in the throat slashing last spring of Jody Santiago, 30, of Seattle. Santiago is credited with providing information that led to the arrest of Lucas.
Lucas also faces a June 17 preliminary hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to try him on three other murder charges.