ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) — The mother of a murdered man leads a march to the Victims for Justice Memorial Wednesday afternoon before hearing when her sons accused killer may go to trial.
On the eve of what would be James Lucas Moren's 43rd birthday, friends and family members gathered at the scene of the shooting that took his life. Christmas eve 2016, police say Moren was gunned down in an alley behind the Gaslight Lounge.
Roy Schauer is currently awaiting trial in the deadly shooting.
Moren's mother Lennie says she understands court proceedings take various amounts of time depending on the case and crime, but she marched Wednesday because she says she's frustrated by the progress in her son's case and would like some closure.
"I just want them to set a court date so that I can prepare for a court date, not a 'we'll think about it date' every 3 months," Moren said. "It's like pulling the scab off a wound and I need time to heal and I'm just asking the court to give me that time."
Prosecutors say murder and other serious crimes like kidnapping and sexual assault often take two to three years to be completely ready for a judge and jury to hear. Assistant District Attorney Kevin Bergt described those crimes as high stakes because of the possible punishments defendants face, and how much evidence could be collected.
"We're juggling more witnesses, more technical evidence," Bergt said. "And given the stakes of the case, a lot of times what we see, the defendants aren't in as much of a hurry to go to trial as the state would prefer."
KTUU was told the state would make a 'date certain' request for this case to head to trial early next year during an afternoon hearing Wednesday. According to online court records, another pretrial conference has been scheduled for next month.