Yesterday we told you about the little known yet valuable victim advocacy department within the ChelanCounty Prosecutor’s Office known as the Victim Witness Program. Founded in the 1980’s the program seeks to ease the anxiety of victims and witnesses as criminal cases progress through the justice system.
Victim/Witness Coordinator Charissa (CAR-ISSA) Cruickshank (CREW-IK-SHANK), along with her co-workers served as advocates for the Raney family and friends throughout two criminal trials. Charrissa says that its not always easy, and is often uncomfortable, but in the end, being able to alleviate some of the confusion and pain for families is very rewarding.
Jurors found Swinford guilty of second degree murder six weeks ago, and he will face Chelan County Superior Court Judge Lesley Allan tomorrow morning at 9am for sentencing.
Originally scheduled for sentencing on March 2nd, the sentencing hearing was postponed after Swinford’s defense attorney Jeremy Ford filed a motion for a new trial on February 27th, citing prosecutorial misconduct by Chelan County Deputy Prosecutor Doug Shay.
Judge Allan will listen to defense arguments for a retrial and will likely issue a ruling from the bench before moving o to the sentencing phase. In the unlikely event that a retrial is granted the sentencing phase would be cancelled and a new trial date would be set. However defense retrial motions are standard practice and Judge Allan would have to contradict an earlier ruling she issued during closing arguments of the murder trial in February.
KOZI will be in the courtroom tomorrow morning and will pass that information on to you as the story unfolds. Stay tuned and keep an eye on our website and our facebook page."CLICK HERE" for Audio