Provided by Bay Area News Group
A preliminary hearing was postponed Tuesday for two teenagers charged with strangling a Castro Valley woman and then returning later to set her body on fire.
Christian Birdsall, 17, and Cody Nicosia, 18, appeared in Alameda County Superior Court for the scheduled hearing, but Judge Stuart Hing reset the case for Oct. 23 at the request of a defense attorney -- despite the fact a prosecutor and the other defense attorney were ready to proceed.
Birdsall and Nicosia have pleaded not guilty to murder and arson charges.
When the teens appear in court this fall, it will be one year and a few days since 58-year-old Barbara Latiolais was found dead in her home. The slaying, which Alameda County Sheriff's deputies called "the kind of case nightmares are made of," occurred about noon Oct. 17 inside a home at 2431 San Carlos Ave., where Latiolais lived with her longtime partner, Michael J. Rice, 60, a retired San Francisco firefighter.
A prosecutor on Tuesday said the District Attorney's Office will not seek the death penalty if the teens are convicted. Birdsall, who was 16 at the time of the killing, is being prosecuted as an adult in the case. Nicosia turns 19 next week.
The teens on Tuesday remained in Santa Rita Jail in Dublin on no-bail holds.