Judge denies motion to delay Edinburg mayor’s trial

EDINBURG — The mayor’s attorney asked a judge for more time to review evidence in his voter fraud trial, but the judge denied his request.

Carlos A. Garcia, an attorney representing Edinburg Mayor Richard Molina, filed the request Tuesday, asking for a 60-day extension.

“As this court is aware, cases such as these are quite document intensive and adequate time is needed to review and digest new discovery that has been tendered,” Garcia wrote.

It appears the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s office found some “new cooperating parties” last week, and the prosecutor, Chief Assistant Criminal District Attorney Michael J. Garza, was willing to give Molina’s legal team a 30-day extension to review evidence, according to Garza’s response to Garcia’s motion.

Garcia also said he needed more time because he was in a weeklong trial that concluded Feb. 28 and is preparing for two upcoming trials.

A judge, however, denied the motion the following day and upheld the pretrial hearing scheduled for March 9.

Nearly 40 people have been subpoenaed in the case against the mayor, including his wife Dalia Molina, Edinburg Councilman David White, former Edinburg City Secretary Ludivina Leal, the city spokeswoman’s sister Robin Zayas and state Rep. Terry Canales.

Molina is facing 11 counts of illegal voting and one count of engaging in organized election fraud.