A preliminary hearing for the man accused of murdering Newman Police Cpl. Ronil Singh was postponed Friday at the request of the defense attorney.
Superior Court Judge Ricardo Cordova rescheduled the hearing for Paulo Virgen Mendoza for April 7.
The preliminary hearing will determine if there is enough evidence for Mendoza to stand trial in the case.
Friday’s postponement was the second in the case. The preliminary hearing, which is expected to take four days, was initially scheduled for Dec. 10 but was pushed back to March 10 to give the defense time to review volumes of evidence obtained from federal authorities in the case.
On Friday Mendoza’s attorney Stephen Foley told the court that he needed more time to fully review the discovery information in preparation for the preliminary hearing.
Foley said the prosecution had indicated that the federal discovery documents included about 20,000 pages, but told the court that the discovery actually encompassed 60,000 to 80,000 pages of information.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Jeff Mangar, who is prosecuting the case and told the court that he is ready to proceed with the hearing, said that much of the information contained in those pages is redundant.
Regardless, Foley countered, he still has an obligation to review every page of the discovery as he prepares for the hearing.
When asked by the judge about the possibility of new discovery material surfacing, Mangar assured Cordova that the prosecution has turned over all the evidence it has in the case to the defense.
A late March date was suggested for the preliminary hearing, but Cordova said that would conflict with a murder trial over which he is presiding.
He set the preliminary hearing to begin, with a pre-trial hearing set for Feb. 4.
Foley has entered a not guilty plea on behalf of Mendoza.
Following the murder, an exhaustive manhunt was launched, leading to the arrest of Mendoza in the Bakersfield area 55 hours after Singh was shot and killed during a traffic stop of a suspected drunken driver at the intersection of Eucalyptus Avenue and Merced Street in the early morning hours of Dec. 26, 2018.