Michael Lynch’s burglary trial was supposed to be this week in Teton County District Court, but it has been delayed again.
The pandemic and other circumstances have caused multiple delays. Lynch is out on pretrial release, with amended terms, and is awaiting trial in Colorado with the court’s permission.
He had been scheduled to go on trial June 1 in Teton County for burglary, theft, forgery and domestic battery. Then his case was pushed to this week. Now it’s set to take place from Nov. 2 to 10.
He appeared Tuesday morning before Judge Timothy Day in Teton County District Court for a virtual scheduling conference after prosecutors changed some of the counts he faces. Lynch’s attorney, Elisabeth Trefonas, said her client wants new preliminary hearings on the two new counts, so the state will withdraw its information and file possession of stolen property and obtaining property under false pretenses charges separately.
Police said Lynch stole more than 400 pricey items from construction clients over the past few years in and around Jackson. The long evidence list includes guns, drugs and expensive rugs. Lynch landed back in jail on a probation violation in January. The court let him out in May when it first delayed his trial due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As the court prepares for Lynch’s November jury trial it will consider the safest way to go about selecting a jury with COVID-19 considerations. That could include a rearranged courtroom, jurors potentially wearing masks and frequent breaks.
“I do plan on objecting to jurors appearing in masks,” Trefonas said, because reading people’s reactions without being able to see their faces would be too difficult.
Day said he expects jury selection to take even longer than usual because of pandemic guidelines.