Rape trial postponed

Darrell Maurina

The trial for a Clovis man accused of rape has been postponed until Feb. 2. John Jacobs’ trial had been scheduled for today and Wednesday in Curry County District Court.
Jacobs’ attorney Gerald Baca said he was not prepared for the Clovis trial because he defended Jacobs in a Portales trial on Thursday and Friday. In that unrelated rape case, Jacobs was acquitted of the charges.
“The trial in Portales finished at midnight on Friday … thereafter, undersigned counsel traveled from Portales to Las Vegas, New Mexico, arriving at 3 a.m.,” Baca wrote in court records. “Because of previously scheduled personal obligations, undersigned counsel did not have time to prepare for the upcoming trial over the weekend.”
Baca, who said early Saturday morning that he was “ready to go to trial and vigorously defend against these charges,” could not be reached at his office for comment Monday afternoon.
Baca is also requesting the Clovis trial be moved to another county because of extensive pretrial publicity in both Clovis and Portales, but no decision has been made on that request.
“So much publicity has been generated concerning this case that the undersigned believes that if the trial were to proceed as currently scheduled, Mr. Jacobs would not receive a fair trial,” Baca wrote in his motion.
Deputy district attorney Matt Chandler said he was upset by the postponement.
“The trial date was set; on March 30, we were given our trial date. In August we both said we were ready to go,” Chandler said. “We’ll be pushing 19 months when it goes to trial. Victims also have a right to a trial within a reasonable period of time.”
“We were ready to proceed (Tuesday) with this case, we will be ready in February, but we are sorry for the victim who will have to suffer with the anxiety of the pending matters for the next few months,” Chandler said.
Jacobs faces three additional rape charges in Clovis besides the case now rescheduled for Feb. 2. Chandler said a trial date hasn’t yet been set for those cases.