GALVESTON

Defense attorneys preparing for the capital murder trial of an island man have asked the court for a delay because of the risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shane Daniel, 33, of Galveston, was arrested in December and charged with capital murder in the death of James “Scrappy” Jackson, owner of a scrap metal recycling business in San Leon.

Daniel is accused of stabbing Jackson during a robbery attempt. If he is convicted, he is eligible for the death penalty.

Daniel’s murder trial is scheduled to begin Dec. 14, but in a motion filed Friday, his attorney asked the court to delay the trial because of risks caused by the pandemic.

“Given the current climate involving the pandemic, both sides feel that with the number of witnesses that are to be involved and the time the trial is going to take, the best course of action” is to delay the trial, attorney William Agnew said.

The number of active cases of COVID-19 has risen in recent weeks, and the average number of new cases announced per day also has gone up. Jury trials in Galveston County resumed in late September after being put off for nearly seven months because of the virus.

As of Monday morning, 212th District Court Judge Patricia Grady hadn’t ruled on delaying the trial. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Nov. 24.

Daniel is being held at the Galveston County Jail.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter @johnwferguson.

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(2) comments

Ron Shelby

The judge should toss this request out on the sidewalk with the defense lawyer. If they were truly concerned for client safety, they would push to accelerate the trial due to COVID-19. If he’s innocent, then try him quickly. That will reduce his time in jail where Covid-19 has higher risk of transmission. Of course, if this is all a delay because he’s guilty, ... In any case, it should be denied.

Jim Forsythe

Not just one side want the delay.

“Given the current climate involving the pandemic, both sides feel that with the number of witnesses that are to be involved and the time the trial is going to take, the best course of action” is to delay the trial, attorney William Agnew said.

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