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Murder trial for Tualatin man delayed

Attorneys for Lujar Philippo request more time to find interpreter


PhilippoThe murder trial for a Tualatin man accused of fatally stabbing his girlfriend has been postponed at the request of his attorneys.

Defendant Lujar Philippo requires a Marshallese interpreter, and has had one present for every court appearance to date. But his defense, led by attorney James Glover, argued that it was difficult to secure a Marshallese translator within the state who did not already have a personal connection to Philippo. Their request for a reset of the trial, originally scheduled for April 2, was granted, prosecutor Bracken McKey confirmed.

The Marshallese language originates in the Marshall Islands of Micronesia and is spoken by approximately 44,000 people worldwide. According to the U.S. Census, 22,434 people who identify as Marshallese were residing in the U.S. in 2010.

Philippo is accused of committing the first Tualatin murder in nearly three years. He is accused of stabbing his girlfriend, 31-year-old Kiorinta Edmond, early on the morning of June 22, 2012. Tualatin Police officers responding to a call from a neighbor who had heard the victim screaming found Edmond dead outside the Tualatin Meadows apartment complex, where she had shared a home with Philippo. Edmond was covered in blood and had been stabbed repeatedly in her chest and upper torso, police reported.

At the crime scene, Philippo allegedly brandished two knives and charged at responding officers. He then held a knife to his own neck, and police subdued him with a Taser before taking him into custody.

Tualatin Police officers had spoken with Edmond hours before while investigating a nearby hit-and-run crash. Philippo was identified as a suspect, and Edmond allowed officers to search the apartment at 18755 S.W. 90th Ave. shortly after midnight, but Philippo was not found at home.

Philippo faces charges of murder and unlawful use of a weapon against Edmond, as well as two additional charges of first-degree attempted assault and two charges of unlawful use of a weapon, one against civilian Caspon Robert, who was at the murder scene. Philippo pleaded not guilty to all six charges at his June 2012 arraignment.

Jury selection is scheduled for Jan. 4 of next year, with opening statements slated to begin Jan. 21, 2014.

Philippo is currently being held in the Washington County Jail awaiting trial.



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