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HANFORD — A second jury trial for Todd Pate, who is accused of the 2013 killing of his wife, Melanie Pate, has been scheduled for March 2020.

The second jury trial was postponed several times in 2017, 2018 and earlier this year. A trial set for Sept. 16 was vacated after Pate’s previously-appointed standby counsel declared a conflict of interest in the case.

Attorney Jamil Nushwat of Visalia was appointed as new standby counsel for Pate, who waived his right to an attorney in February 2018 and will represent himself in court.

Visiting Judge Edward Lacey of Stanislaus County, who will oversee the jury trial, decided to continue the trial due to a request by Nushwat, in order to allow him time to review the evidence and prepare for a trial.

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Pate’s first jury trial, which occurred in August 2016, ended in a hung jury and mistrial after jurors could not come to a unanimous decision on a conviction of first-degree murder.

Pate previously pleaded not guilty to the charges, but entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity in February 2017.

According to the case information on the Kings County Superior Court website, pretrial conferences are scheduled for 8:15 a.m. on both Nov. 21 and Jan. 23, and a trial readiness hearing is scheduled for 8:15 a.m. on Feb. 13 at the courthouse.

A trial confirmation hearing is scheduled for 8:15 a.m. on March 12 and the jury trial is expected to begin at 9:30 a.m. on March 16 at the Kings County Superior Court.

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The reporter can be reached at 583-2423 or jzavala@hanfordsentinel.com

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