Buddy Wallace on track for July 24 trial

Buddy O’Brian Wallace, at the rear of a group of Mohave County jail inmates, is led away from the courthouse Monday following a pretrial conference before Judge Rick Lambert. Wallace’s first-degree murder trial is set for July 24. (Photo by Hubble Ray Smith/Daily Miner)

Buddy O’Brian Wallace, at the rear of a group of Mohave County jail inmates, is led away from the courthouse Monday following a pretrial conference before Judge Rick Lambert. Wallace’s first-degree murder trial is set for July 24. (Photo by Hubble Ray Smith/Daily Miner)

KINGMAN – Nearly three years after Buddy O’Brian Wallace was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder, he’s headed for a jury trial on July 24 with the final evidentiary hearing set for July 18.

Wallace, 27, appeared Monday in a pretrial conference before Mohave County Superior Court Judge Rick Lambert, who asked attorneys from both sides to provide him with a list of witnesses.

Mohave County prosecutor Rod Albright named about a dozen witnesses, a majority of them from Mohave County Sheriff’s Office.

He also named a couple residents of Yucca, where Wallace lived in October 2015 when he was arrested and charged with the stabbing death of 70-year-old Charles McCarty.

Defense attorney Brad Rideout had a much smaller list of potential witnesses, including a former Bullhead City investigator and possibly a laboratory technician who tested DNA evidence. The attorney is looking at evidence that could exonerate his client.

Wallace was hired to work in McCarty’s yard and was reportedly seen entering his residence the night before the elderly man’s bloodied body was discovered slumped over the kitchen table.

Wallace allegedly admitted to the crime and was offered a plea agreement to second-degree murder with a maximum sentence of 25 years. He opted for a jury trial, originally set for October 2016, and faces life in prison if convicted.

In addition to the evidentiary hearing on July 18, Lambert will hear a motion from the defense to suppress Wallace’s admission.