October 18, 2013 By Wallin & Klarich

If you are accused of murder in Orange County, it could take more than six years for your case to go to trial.

Iftekar Murtaza is accused of plotting and carrying out the murder of the father and sister of his former girlfriend. In addition, he is accused of attacking her mother and setting her family home on fire by dousing it with gasoline. If he is found guilty he could face the death penalty.

Murtaza was arrested in 2007 and he has been in custody for over six-and-a-half years waiting for his jury trial. Finally, it is set to start in an Orange County courthouse soon.

How Can it Take over 6 Years to for a Criminal Case to Actually Get to Jury Trial?


Of course, there are legal motions that must be raised in every case. There must be a preliminary hearing and the judge must find probable cause for the accused to stand trial. Both the prosecution and defense must prepare for trial. When the accused could face execution, it is vital that both sides be adequately prepared. However, what could possibly take over six years? We are talking about over 2,200 days between Murtaza’s arrest and when his trial will take place.

Questions Raised During Trial Delay

If the defendant is found not guilty, then how does he get back any of the 2,200 days of his life? Murtaza has been in custody this entire time.

How does this extreme delay impact the accuracy of a witness’s testimony? How many people can remember clearly what happened when the event occurred over six years before they testify?

How much money are the taxpayers of Orange County paying to house Murtaza for over 2,200 days?

There has to be a better way to ensure that the accused gets a fair trial, while at the same time making certain that cases do not drag on for years before a jury trial can take place.

Call the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich

The experienced California criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been aggressively defending clients who are accused of serious crimes for over 30 years. We prepare our clients defense promptly and we are often ready to go to trial – or demand that the case be dismissed – within a matter of a few months. You have to wonder if justice is really being done when a case goes on for over six years before a jury trial takes place.

We would love to hear your comments on this issue or similar experiences.

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