FORT MYERS, Fla. The trial for a 17-year-old girl accused of killing a Buckingham man won’t begin as scheduled.
Judge Ramiro Manalich granted a motion from prosecutors Tuesday to put off the trial of Lavaya May after they argued they weren’t prepared to begin without the ability to use a key piece of evidence.
Manalich ruled Monday against allowing prosecutors to use a notebook they say contains confessions from May, who’s accused of killing 58-year-old Ted Lee last year. The notebook was meant to be kept private and was taken unlawfully, Manalich said.
Prosecutors are appealing that ruling.
Jury selection was to have taken place Tuesday morning, but that will instead take place once the trial is rescheduled. The new start date will be sometime within the next 90 days.
May is a facing second-degree murder charge in the death of Lee, whose body was found in July 2016 outside a church in Manatee County.
Co-defendant Hunter Michael Tyson, 24, of North Fort Myers, pleaded no contest to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 40 years in prison. A third man accused in the killing, Jonathan Raymond Ruffini, 19, of Fort Myers, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder but has yet to be sentenced.
WINK News anchor Andrea Henderson went live via Facebook from the courthouse during a recess: