Sockeye wildfire defendants ask for delay

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The state’s case against the two defendants in the Sockeye wildfire may not go to trial until sometime next year.

At a court hearing in Palmer Thursday, attorneys for defendants Amy DeWitt and Greg Imig asked Judge David Zwink for more time to prepare their case.

DeWitt and Imig have pleaded not guilty to criminal charges of recklessly igniting the fire that swept through more than seven thousand forested acres north of Willow in June of this year. The fire destroyed fifty-five homes.

Palmer District Attorney Roman Kalytiak told the court that the defendants’ attorneys’ request is reasonable

“I think realistic would be, for the defense, not talking for me, but for the defense, probably next year. I can’t see the defense being ready for a trial in this case, this year. ”

Kalytiak says a huge amount of discovery has been sent by the state to the defendants’ attorneys, and that it will take them more than thirty days to go through the massive file. Phillip Shanahan, attorney for DeWitt, had asked for 30 to 45 days more time, but he agreed it would take more.

“It’s voluminous, judge, and it’s going to take time, and probably experts.” [Judge Zwink] “I’m certain it’s voluminous, given the charges. ”

A pre-trial hearing in the case has been set for December third. Kalytiak says it is possible a resolution could be reached before any trial begins.