Madera teen murder trial to begin, six years later

MODESTO, California

The trials for both suspects in the case have been moved to Modesto.

Dustin Gran was supposed to appear in the Stanislaus County courthouse today. But the judge was tied up with another trial that ran late into the afternoon. Several issues have delayed the trial for years, and it could still be more than a month before it goes to a jury.

Krista Pike's parents spent Tuesday afternoon sitting in the hallway of the Stanislaus County courthouse. They were expecting a pre-trial hearing for Dustin Gran -- the man accused of murdering their daughter in January of 2008. But instead their six year search for justice was pushed back one more day.

Investigators say Gran beat Pike to death at a home in Madera, but they believe Brittany Navarra planned the attack because she had romantic feelings for Pike's fiancé.

The trials for both defendants have faced many delays for several different reasons. Gran's case was put on hold due to questions about his sanity. Then both defense attorneys requested a change of venue because of all the attention surrounding the crime. And last year, a judge ruled one of the prosecutors committed misconduct. The ongoing issues led to a protest outside the Madera County courthouse last May.

A gag order for the trial is now keeping family members and attorneys from speaking about the case, but the move to Modesto is expected to come with extra costs. Other change of venue trials in the Valley in recent years have each totaled about a million dollars. And in this case, two separate trials will be held.

Dustin Gran's pre-trial hearing was moved to Wednesday morning. The next step will be jury selection, and the trial itself is expected to last at least a month. Brittany Navarra's trial is scheduled to start in May.

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