Judge Threatens to Sanction Attorney in Mora Case

The preliminary hearing was delayed until Wednesday after some back and forth about the health of the attorney representing Socorro Mora, who is accused of killing her husband.

Pomona Superior Court Commissioner Wade Olson today agreed to continue a planned preliminary hearing for Socorro Mora until Wednesday, but not before threatening to sanction the defense attorney on the murder case.

Mora's attorney, Patricia O'Bryan, said that she has be diagnosed with mononucleosis and requested that the preliminary hearing be continued and she removed from the case.

That did not sit well with Olson, who criticized O'Bryan for making the request in court without filing the required form for a continuance and threatened to sanction her.  A request for a continuance must be filed at least two days in advance.

"You're privately retained," Olson said.  "I can't simply take you off the case. What I do have is the authority to sanction you for non-compliance of 1050."

Canceling a preliminary hearing for a case with 18 witnesses set to testify, a jury ready to go, and a courtroom reserved for two days is costly, he said.

O'Bryan said that she was prepared last month, but the hearing was continued.  The District Attorney's office had requested that continuance.

She left the courtroom and after a short recess, O'Bryan returned to say she was prepared to move forward with the preliminary hearing. Deputy District Attorney Tanareh Saba said with it being a complex case, she wanted to be certain that O'Bryan was ready to go.

"I want to put it on the record that you are fit and feel you can go through the volume of evidence and do a competent job," Saba said.

O'Bryan answered that she could.

Mora appeared in court briefly and after hearing what happened with her attorney, said she wanted to more ahead.

"I don't want to waive any more time," she said.  "I want to proceed."

Mora was arrested in October 2011 and charged with murdering her estranged husband George Mora at his Brookside Court home.  The father of four was found dead from multiple stab wounds on Oct. 19 minutes after Socorro Mora called the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department to report a domestic disturbance at the Walnut home.

The defendant was found in the front yard bleeding from her wounds.

Besides being charged with fatally stabbing her husband, Mora also is accused of killing one of the family dogs last September and faces a third count of domestic violence related to an alleged incident that also took place around the same time.  She has pleaded not guilty to all three counts.

Mora is being held on $5 million bail at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood.


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