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Imperial Gangster’s murder trial delayed

Updated: April 2, 2014 6:13AM



The murder trial of a gang member from East Chicago who could face the death penalty if convicted will be delayed, perhaps until January.

U.S. District Judge Philip Simon during a status hearing Friday granted a request from Juan Briseno’s attorney to continue the trial, which had been set for next month.

One of Briseno’s attorneys, Arlington Foley, said the case involves a large amount of evidence. He pointed out that Briseno is accused in six killings and four attempted murders, far more than the attorneys normally handle in one case.

Prosecutors have also said they will seek the death penalty if Briseno is found guilty, which would open up a separate phase of evidence for which his attorneys also must prepare.

“We want to do the absolute best we can (for Briseno),” Foley said.

Federal attorneys had said they were OK with a delay but did not want to go past the summer, whereas Briseno’s attorneys had asked to delay the trial until September. Simon said during the hearing that he expects to have to set aside three months for the trial and that would likely mean it couldn’t start until at least fall, and perhaps as late as January, although he did not schedule a new date at the hearing Friday.

Briseno was one of 24 defendants charged in the Imperial Gangsters’ racketeering case. Most of the defendants have pleaded guilty, and a federal jury found co-defendant Richard Reyes guilty of racketeering and murder earlier this year.



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