A judge said Tuesday he will impose sanctions on the city of Stockton unless he hears a good reason why its lawyer didn't show up for a hearing involving Columbus Allen Jr. II, who is accused of murdering a California Highway Patrol officer during an early morning traffic stop more than two years ago.
At issue are dispatch records from Feb. 17, 2006, the day officer Earl Scott's body was found at the side of Highway 99, south of the Hammett Road exit, gripping registration papers from a Nissan Maxima registered to Allen's wife, Bertera.
Allen's attorneys say they have not received all the documentation they need to adequately defend their client, but the city has filed a motion seeking to quash a defense subpoena and prosecutors support the city's effort.
Arguments were planned Monday, but Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Hurl Johnson continued the matter one day, to give the city more time to respond.
Deputy District Attorney Alan Cassidy told the court that a deputy city attorney was unable to attend because of a prior commitment in the courthouse in Stockton. He was not sure why a custodian of records did not attend the hearing as ordered.
The judge rescheduled the matter to May 30, but he suggested that sanctions could be imposed if the two Stockton officials do not have a good explanation.
Allen, 32, is accused of shooting Scott during an early morning traffic stop and could face the death penalty if convicted. He was arrested when he and his wife showed up at the Stockton Police Department to report that their car had been stolen. Allen is being held without bail.