October 20, 2010 - 8:59 am
The government spent more than two years trying to decide whether it should seek the death penalty for Ronald "Joey" Sellers, the reputed leader of the Aryan Warriors white supremacist prison gang.
Sellers is accused of running a racketeering enterprise, which included an act of murder, over an 18-year span within the walls of the Nevada prison system.
His federal trial was put off during this time while more than a dozen of his co-defendants were convicted.
And now it looks like Sellers, who claims he’s dying of liver disease brought on by the hepatitis C virus, will have to wait even longer for his day in court.
In August, prosecutors filed court papers disclosing they no longer sought the death penalty. The papers included a terse letter from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. directing the effort to be abandoned.
That has led Sellers’ lawyer, First Assistant Federal Public Defender Michael Kennedy, to ask for a delay in the trial, which is set to start in January.
Kennedy filed court papers earlier this month arguing that he spent so much time trying to fend off the government’s death penalty push the past two years that he wasn’t able to focus on his client’s defense against the criminal charges.
He asks for a Sept. 19 trial date.