VALE – Anthony Montwheeler won’t go before a jury of his peers until next year after the judge presiding over his case granted a defense motion to delay the Nampa man’s trial.

Monday, Multnomah County Circuit Judge Thomas Ryan pushed the trial from this September to July 2020 to give Montwheeler’s defense team more time to prepare.

Montwheeler is charged with kidnapping and stabbing to death Annita Harmon, an ex-wife, on Jan. 9, 2017, and then killing David Bates of Vale and injuring his wife Jessica in a collision during a police pursuit. Montwheeler faces counts of aggravated murder, three counts of murder, and one count each of first-degree assault and first-degree kidnapping.

In February, Montwheeler pleaded not guilty to the charges. Malheur County District Attorney Dave Goldthorpe has said he would seek the death penalty if Montwheeler is convicted.

In recent weeks Montwheeler’s defense has filed a plethora of motions with the court, including requests for a change of venue, and a declaration that Montwheeler is not eligible for the death penalty.

Ryan also decided to review all of motions in the case – with the exception of the change of venue motion – the week of Aug. 5.

“On behalf of the victims, I am disappointed the case got moved but I understand the judge’s legal reasons for why he granted the motion to continue,” said Goldthorpe.

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