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Trial delayed for Utah Burmese refugee charged with kidnapping, murder

Published May 13, 2013 11:43 am

Courts • Forensics tests bring the latest snag in the 2008 slaying case.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The long-awaited trial for a Burmese refugee accused of kidnapping and killing a young girl at the South Salt Lake apartment complex where they both lived was delayed again Monday.

Esar Met, 26, is charged in 3rd District Court with first-degree felony counts of aggravated murder and child kidnapping in connection with the 2008 slaying of 7-year-old Hser Ner Moo. His trial was scheduled to begin on July 15.

But after a hearing Monday, the trial date was vacated. A new date could be set at an upcoming hearing in July.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said the most recent delay centers on forensic tests requested by prosecutors. They are waiting on results and must provide the information to Met's defense attorneys before a trial can go forward, Gill said.

He hopes to have a new trial date in the works by July's scheduling conference.

The case has suffered numerous setbacks since charges were filed against Met about five years ago, some due to concerns about the quality of the interpreters being used, and others due to conflict between Met and his attorneys. On several occasions Met's attorneys said they had reached a resolution in the case, only to have Met change his mind in court.

Met was ordered to stand trial in December, following a six-day preliminary hearing that included testimony from the girl's parents, Met's roommates, police, FBI agents and medical experts.

mlang@sltrib.com

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