Attorneys wrangle over new trial date for David

By SCOTT NORTH

Herald Writer

It will be at least another week before a new trial will be scheduled for Victor David, the man accused of abusing his wife for years on a filthy sailboat while the state paid him to be her caretaker.

David, 60, is charged with second-degree assault for allegedly abusing his wife, Linda David, 52. His first trial, which lasted roughly three weeks, ended with a hung jury Oct. 19.

Lawyers on both sides can’t agree on when David’s second trial should occur.

On Tuesday, David’s attorney, Bryan Hershman, said the best time for his schedule would be in February.

Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Kathy Patterson vetoed that idea: She’s got a wedding that month, and suggested April would be more appropriate.

But David, who has been jailed since his arrest in May 1999, said he won’t waive his right to a speedy trial beyond March 6, 2001. An early March trial would all but guarantee Patterson would have to prepare her case during her honeymoon.

Hershman said he didn’t like to see his opponent put in such a position, but David has rights that have to be respected.

"Mr. David, to a certain extent, is the captain of this ship as far as timing is concerned," he said.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Wynne put off any decision until next week.

He’s previously raised questions about whether jurors will have to come from some other county, given the attention David’s first trial received.

A mistrial was declared when jurors split 7-5 on whether David assaulted his wife. Seven jurors voted for acquittal and five voted to convict.

Prosecutors alleged David subjected his wife to beatings that left her blind and brain-damaged. At the same time, he was collecting $500 a month from the state as her caregiver.

The defense countered that many of Linda David’s injuries could be explained by accidents.

Linda David was found in 1997 on a 30-foot sailboat moored near Everett. She was jammed into the bow compartment and covered with vomit and feces from the seven German shepherds which also lived aboard. Doctors said she was brain-damaged to the point of immobility, and she had numerous untreated fractures of her arms, legs and fingers. Her face remains disfigured by scar tissue, and she uses a wheelchair.

She now lives in a Snohomish County nursing home.

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