It’s been more than 2 years since a Las Vegas judge found there was enough evidence to have a jury determine if Derrick Valentine sexually assaulted 35-year-old Melodie Walker and then choked her to death in her northwest Las Vegas Valley home.
Valentine, 39, was scheduled to have his sexual assault and murder trial begin this afternoon in Clark County District Court. But he’ll have to wait about 7 more months for the death penalty case to begin.
Valentine’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Edward Kane, has told Judge Michael Villani that the defense team isn’t ready yet for the trial and is waiting on the results of psychological tests on Valentine before proceeding.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Christopher Lalli asked the judge to reschedule the trial sometime in October. And Villani set the new trial for 1 p.m. Oct. 22.
Valentine, of Pasadena, Calif., faces 1 count of murder and 2 counts of sexual assault in connection with Walker’s death. He is being held without bail on the murder charge in the Clark County Detention Center.
The Clark County coroner’s office said an autopsy showed that Walker had been strangled to death.
Valentine was arrested Jan. 22, 2010, after a security guard called police after finding Valentine and Walker in Walker's home in the 9100 block of Pearl Cotton Avenue, which is near the Durango Drive interchange on U.S. 95. The security guard was sent to the home after a burglary alarm was activated.
During Valentine’s preliminary hearing in March 2010, a security guard and arresting officers testified that Valentine changed his story several times while being interviewed about what had happened.
The security guard testified Valentine said that “a big white guy” had come in, hit him over the head and poured chemicals down his throat.
A Metro Police detective testified that Valentine later told police that he wanted to perform a sex act on Walker but knew she wouldn’t allow it, so he choked her. The detective testified that Valentine then said he tried to clean up the blood, then wanted to die, so he drank some of the cleaning solution.
(source: Las Vegas Sun)