Criminal trial for Halloween shooter to begin in June

Brandon Spencer, 20, the suspect in an on-campus shooting on Oct. 31, appeared in court on Tuesday at the Los Angeles criminal court building Tuesday for a pretrial hearing, which determined that his trial will begin within 30 days after May 29.

Spencer, who is unaffiliated with the university, pled not guilty on March 28 to four counts of attempted murder during his felony arraignment. He was arrested Nov. 5. On Oct. 31, a suspect opened fire into a crowd and injured four non-USC affiliated students near the Ronald Tutor Campus Center.

Spencer plead not guilty to give up his right to a speedy trial. As a result, the next pretrial conference is scheduled for May 29, Judge Terry A. Bork said.

Bork said defense attorney and prosecutors will be given more time for the discovery process to present further evidence.

During the March 28 pretrial hearing, the judge also issued an order that restricted photographs or recordings to be taken of the defendant.

James M. Simmons, Spencer’s attorney, urged the court to consider an order to show cause, a procedure that allows a party to explain something to the court, following the release of a photograph of the defendant on Annenberg TV News’ website.

Simmons argued that ATVN violated the court order and presented a still image from the news station’s website to the judge.

Bork, however, said the picture was not enough information to provide cause to believe that the previous order had been violated. Bork left it to the counsel to provide further information to the court regarding who broadcast the image, after which the court would take any additional steps necessary.

Bork also noted that going forward, no photographic recordings or broadcasting of the hearings in the courtroom will be allowed without further order of the court.