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Trial delayed for man who fought extradition on 2006 murder charge

The trial of Joshua Edwards, accused in the fatal shooting of Jackson A. Rodriguez, has been rescheduled for four days beginning Feb. 19, 2013

December 06, 2012|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • Joshua Edwards
Joshua Edwards

A Brooklyn, N.Y., man who fought extradition from Great Britain for more than five years on a 2006 murder charge in Washington County will have another two months to prepare for trial.

Circuit Court Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. on Thursday granted a motion from Joshua Edwards to delay his trial, which was scheduled for three days beginning Dec. 19. Long rescheduled the trial for four days beginning Feb. 19, 2013.

Defense attorney Bernard W. Semler II, who replaced Edwards’ previous attorney in September, told Long that he has more than 2,000 pages of discovery materials to review.

Semler said he might also need to subpoena additional phone records that were used by the state in the 2008 trial of another man charged in the July 23, 2006, fatal shooting of Jackson A. Rodriguez.

Deputy State’s Attorney Joseph Michael said the state was not objecting to the continuance, noting the defense’s need to review the discovery materials and subpoena more witnesses and phone records.

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“We want the defendant to have as fair a trial as possible before he spends the rest of his life in prison,” Michael said.

Semler told Edwards, and Long reminded him, that the state had not filed a notice of intention to seek a sentence of life in prison without parole. That has to be filed 30 days before a trial and a delay would give the state time to file such as notice.

Edwards said he still wanted the case delayed.

Edwards is accused of committing the murder with Olusegun Hakeem Ogundipe, of New York City, who was convicted in 2008 of participating in the killing of Rodriguez and the shooting of Tony Perry, who survived, but lost an eye. Ogundipe is serving two life sentences.

At Ogundipe’s trial, Steven Ramel Broadhead testified that he, Rodriguez and Perry brought $10,000 worth of cocaine from New York to sell in Hagerstown. Broadhead testified that Ogundipe held him at gunpoint as Edwards shot Rodriguez and Perry.

After the shooting, Edwards returned to New York and somehow made it to England, where he came to the attention of Scotland Yard in January 2007, Michael said after Edwards’ extradition.

Edwards was held in an English prison while fighting extradition.

He is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree attempted murder, second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder, first- and second-degree assault and use of a handgun in a crime of violence, court records said.

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