It's been a year and half since the deadliest train crash in Metrolink's history killed 11 people and injured nearly 200. Yet, the victims and their families are no closer to justice.
Multiple changes in defense attorneys have stalled a legal case that should already be well on its way to determining if Juan Manuel Alvarez is guilty of intentionally causing the Jan. 26, 2006, crash and of murder for parking his Jeep Cherokee on the train tracks near Chevy Chase Drive and dousing it with gasoline ? leaving it to be struck by a train.
The latest delay came this week when Alvarez's public defenders, Rose Reglos and Luis J. Rodriguez, told Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William R. Pounders they could not defend Alvarez any longer because of a conflict, which was not made public. Their departure follows the exodus of pro bono attorney Eric Chase, who left because he didn't have the resources to mount a case against the death penalty, which Alvarez faces if convicted of the charges of murders with special circumstances.