LOGAN — The week-long jury trial for Douglas L. Birkinbine, one of two people accused of breaking into several homes in Cache Valley, has been postponed.
The 53-year-old appeared in 1st District Court Tuesday, after writing a letter to Judge Brian Cannell, asking that his trial be moved to a new venue. He also requested a new attorney, explaining that his public defender was trying to push him toward accepting a plea deal in the case.
In the letter, Birkinbine wrote that his lawyer, Michael McGinnis told him, prosecutors were threatening to take all plea deals off the table, if they requested a preliminary hearing. He went onto write that he felt prosecutors were blackmailing him and that he has a right to know the evidence against him.
Birkinbine and 52-year-old Victoria Asta are suspected of robbing a home in Paradise at gun point and later leading deputies on a high speed chase that ended in Logan on November 17. The two are believed to have broken into more than eight residences.
Birkinbine was later charged with 39 felonies and 13 misdemeanors. The offenses range from aggravated robbery and burglary, assaulting a police officer, failing to stop at the command of police and other charges.
Court records show that during Tuesday’s court appearance, Judge Brian Cannell cancelled the November trial. He also ordered Birkinbine to appear again in court November 17, for oral arguments on his motions for new representation and venue.
In August, Asta accepted a plea deal, pleading no contest to aggravated robbery and assaulting a police officer, both second-degree felonies. She is scheduled to be sentenced October 4.
Both of them remain in the Cache County Jail without bail.
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