BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A judge on Monday set new hearing dates for the couple charged in the deaths of Orrin and Orson West, with a status conference for mid-February and, if all proceeds as planned, the trial commencing in early March.
The next hearing will take place Feb. 16 to get updates from attorneys. Prosecutor Eric Smith is currently in a trial that could last until late February, and attorneys representing Trezell and Jacqueline West said they are awaiting more evidence and aren’t ready.
Motions must be filed by Feb. 27, Judge Charles R. Brehmer said, and will be heard on March 1, the scheduled trial date. Jury selection would then likely begin the following week.
Prosecutors allege Orrin, 4, and Orson, 3, were killed about three months before the Wests — the boys’ adoptive parents — reported them missing Dec. 21, 2020. Their bodies have not been found.
Dozens of searches have been conducted and digging performed at sites in California City and Bakersfield.
A criminal protective order bars the Wests from seeing their two biological children and two remaining adopted children. Prosecutors sought the order out of concerns the Wests would influence the children about the criminal case.
Among the charges against the Wests is an allegation they induced a minor to assist in committing a crime, suggesting at least one of the Wests’ other children witnessed what happened and will be called to testify. Prosecutors have not said how the boys died.
A gag order bars prosecutors and the Wests’ attorneys, investigators and court staff from speaking about the case. The Wests are charged with second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, child cruelty, conspiracy and falsely reporting an emergency.