Kalac trial stumbles along despite multiple obstacles

PORT ORCHARD — Alleged murderer David Kalac, whose trial in Kitsap County Superior Court has been plagued by delays since before it even started, appeared before Judge Jeannette Dalton April 4, in full view of a row of friends and relatives of his alleged victim.

Kalac is charged with murder in the first degree — domestic violence with aggravating circumstances in the death of his girlfriend Amber Lynn Coplin. Her body was discovered on Nov. 4, 2014, in her Port Orchard home.

The defendant allegedly posted graphic photos of Coplin’s lifeless body on the controversial website 4chan and timed the incident so that Coplin’s son would discover his mother’s body upon arriving home from school.

The case has been beset by delays since the pretrial status hearings, with motions to dismiss, motions to exclude witness testimony, multiple requests to reschedule the trial and even a motion requesting that the judge recuse herself.

In one of the case’s oddest moments, a motion to dismiss was filed by defense attorneys when former prosecutor Farshad Talebi misrepresented facts in a motion filed by the prosecution. The motion was dismissed, but the prosecutor’s office acknowledged that it had been “sloppy.”

Another issue in the Kalac case has been constant requests by members of the jury pool asking to be excused. Court records show more than two dozen notes and phone calls initiated by jury pool members citing a wide variety of reasons to justify being removed from the pool — from health issues, to lost wages, to a nursing baby.

In another unexpected twist, prosecutors filed a motion to request that the judge recuse herself after it was alleged that she had discussed the case outside of the courtroom. The prosecution’s motion was followed by a motion filed by the defense to ask for more time in light of the prosecutor’s motion.

In addition to the aforementioned obstacles to what should have been a speedy trial, there were also motions filed to exclude both physical evidence and expert witness testimony.

The most recent of these was a motion filed by the prosecution requesting that the testimony of defense witness Dr. David M. Dixon, who declared that Kalac’s “ability to form the intent to commit the crime” was impaired at the time of the incident, be excluded.

— Article by Kitsap News Group contributor Ily Goyanes