MAYVILLE - The four Elmira men accused of killing a Frewsburg couple last April will not be appearing in court this month.
According to Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley, the trial - which was originally scheduled for Tuesday - was pushed back to give the prosecution and defense more time to consolidate their cases.
"We still have hearings that need to be run, we have some motions in for some additional evidence that we're seeking ... so it's just a necessary thing ... I don't think the prosecution or defense are prepared to proceed as quickly as March 11," Foley said.
Public Defender Nathaniel Barone agreed, stating that several issues arose regarding evidence that needed further examination.
Although a new trial date was not scheduled, the defense succeeded in getting one of the defendants - Davide Coggins, 34 - separated from the others and granted an individual trial for Sept. 16.
"The severance is for a number of different legal issues concerning evidence during trial and how those procedurally could be affected by trying these individuals together," Barone said. "So in order to preserve all their constitutional rights during trial, Mr. Coggins needed to be severed."
Barone said that he could not reveal too many specifics on the legal issues regarding evidence.
The defendants - Coggins, Joshua McCormick, 21, Ricky Knickerbocker, 18, and Steven Todd, 18 - are accused of taking the lives of Gordon and Joyce Skinner on April 17 after invading the couple's home on Wheeler Hill Road.
It is alleged that Gordon, 66, and Joyce, 59, were stabbed before having their home set on fire. A motive for the homicides has yet to be determined.
Coggins and McCormick were indicted by a Chautauqua County grand jury on first-degree murder. Due to their age at the time of the homicides, Knickerbocker and Todd are facing second-degree murder charges. The men are also facing burglary and arson charges.