HANFORD — A jury trial for Todd Pate, who is accused of the 2013 killing of his wife, Melanie Pate, has been set for April 23, 2018.
Pate’s second trial was originally set to begin Dec. 4, but was postponed due to personal matters involving Pate’s attorney, Adam Nelson.
Managing Deputy District Attorney Phil Esbenshade will prosecute the case along with Deputy District Attorney Cambria Lisonbee, both of whom are from the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.
Pate’s trial in August 2016 ended in a hung jury and mistrial because one of the 12 jurors felt the evidence did not support a conviction of first-degree murder.
Pate previously pleaded not guilty to the charges, but in February he entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.
Nelson also filed a motion for change of venue on March 30 arguing Pate could not receive a fair retrial in Kings County. Among the reasons given was extensive media coverage of the case.
Judge Donna Tarter said the motion didn’t meet the criteria to warrant a change of venue and denied the motion without prejudice, meaning Nelson could file another request for change of venue later.
Esbenshade said the guilt phase of the trial will begin first, followed by the sanity portion of the trial. He said the entire trial is expected to last two weeks.