LOS LUNAS, N.M. (KRQE) - The murder case against Benjamin Hilburn, now 12, has dragged on for 2 1/2 years.
Hilburn has admitted to shooting his father Bryon in the back of the head with a shotgun in August 2009 at the family home in Belen. Benjamin was 10 at the time, and police said the boy told them he shot his dad because he was too strict.
Everything from competency hearings to change-of-venue requests to judges being removed from the bench has delayed a trial.
On Wednesday at 9 a.m. Hilburn is scheduled to be in District Court in Los Lunas in front of Judge Tommy Jewell. Jewell is to decide if Hilburn's younger sister, Emily, now 8, will testify in her brother's murder trial.
Police reports say his then-6-year-old sister was watching video games when she heard the shot and turned around to see her father on the floor. Prosecutors want her to tell her story in court.
The hope is delays in this case are over. Hilburn was in state custody for two months after the murder and then released to his mother in Rio Rancho.
Other delays were brought on by three independent psychological evaluations, one each by the prosecution, the defense and the state. Last summer the defense requested a change of venue, but that was denied.
The latest delay in the trial came in March when presiding District Judge John Pope resigned from the bench because of a drinking problem. District Attorney Lemuel Martinez has been frustrated trying to keep this case moving forward and he hopes some decisions will be made on the motions on Wednesday.
Hilburn's murder trial currently is scheduled to begin on May 22, and if convicted, the maximum sentence the boy can face is being locked up in the state's children's jail until he turns 21.
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