Kiyoshi Higashi refused to leave his jail cell to attend his first-degree murder trial in Pierce County Superior Court this morning.
The proceedings were delayed for nearly an hour while prosecutors and Higashi’s defense attorney wrangled about whether the trial could move forward without the defendant present.
Higashi is charged with first-degree murder, robbery, assault and burglary in the April 2010 death of James Sanders, who was killed inside his Edgewood home by people responding to a Craigslist ad he place advertising some jewelry.
Superior Court Judge Rosanne Buckner ultimately decided the trial could move ahead without Higashi present and sent word of such to Higashi in jail. He quickly changed his mind and decided to attend, deputy prosecutor Mary Robnett said.
The prosecution is expected to rest its case Monday morning, and closing arguments could follow that afternoon should Higashi’s attorney, Michael Jordan, decide not to put on a case.