Murder trial for Stevenage's Mark Altabas will last until Christmas, court hears
PUBLISHED: 19:13 21 November 2016 | UPDATED: 17:39 23 November 2016
The trial of a man accused of murdering 48-year-old Mark Altabas from Stevenage will last until at least Christmas.
A jury was selected for the trial today at the Central Criminal Court at London’s Old Bailey.
Destao Pedro, of Forest Road in Walthamstow, stands accused of murdering Mr Altabas who was found stabbed in Long Leaves, Stevenage, on April 21 this year.
The 18-year-old pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Altabas on September 14.
Dressed in a smart blue suit Mr Pedro appeared in court only to confirm his name.
In the same case, Mr Pedro, along with Robert Crook, 57, and Katie Holmes, 43, both of Long Leaves in Stevenage, have pleaded not guilty to conspiring to supply class A drugs.
Ms Holmes has also pleaded guilty to permitting a premises to be used for supplying Class A drugs but denied perverting the course of justice, and Mr Crook pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to rob.
Both also appeared in court to confirm their identity today.
The opening of the trial was delayed because Mr Pedro had to be brought from custody in Peterborough and Ms Holmes from a bail hostel in the same city.
His Honour Judge Zeidman apologised to the defendants for their long journeys.
He told the 15-strong jury that the case would last at least until December 22 and could possibly continue into the new year.
The opening statements from defence and prosecution will be heard tomorrow morning.