Judge schedules trial in long-delayed Colorado Springs arson case | SummitDaily.com

Judge schedules trial in long-delayed Colorado Springs arson case

COLORADO SPRINGS – After several delays, a judge has scheduled a trial for a man charged with arson in a 2003 fire that killed his two daughters and stepson.El Paso County District Judge David Miller on Friday scheduled a March 5 trial for Timothy Nicholls, 36, who faces charges including first-degree murder and arson.After investigating for more than three months, a grand jury indicted Nicholls on 18 counts in July 2005. His estranged wife, Deborah Lee Nicholls, was not charged in the children’s deaths, but faces felony theft and witness-intimidation counts stemming from the fire that killed 11-year-old Jay Nicholls and his sisters, 5-year-old Sophia and 3-year-old Sierra.Both parents told investigators they had used methamphetamines in the months before the fire.Timothy Nicholls’ defense attorney, Dennis Hartley, had asked the judge several times to delay the case, most recently in July 2006. Hartley, who practices alone, asked for another delay Friday, saying he did not have time to prepare for a March trial for Nicholls because he was defending another client in a federal drug case that month.Miller rejected Hartley’s request, saying he had already granted several delays.”I believe you can be prepared,” Miller told Hartley.Sandra Wilson, the children’s grandmother, said she was pleased with the judge’s refusal to grant another delay.”We will miss and honor our grandchildren forever, but they deserve peace,” she said.Deborah Nicholls, 39, is free on bond awaiting a trial.

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