Ex Miami restaurateur Josh Woodward murder trial date set for early January in Los Angeles

(UPDATED July 9, 2015)

Last we heard, former Miami restaurateur Josh(ua) Woodward was out of a Los Angeles jail on $4 million bond after being charged with four counts of attempted murder of his mistress’s fetus back in 2009.  

Though Woodward’s case, BA403598, is working its way through the Los Angeles County Superior Court system slower than an octogenarian driving in the left lane during rush hour traffic on I-95 with his blinker on, the former 8 Oz. Burger Bar owner has been living a fairly normal life in Miami, galavanting around town with his now wife, former Ocean Drive magazine editor Suzy Buckley, and their infant.

But the case is far from over. After several pretrial hearings, the actual trial, whose date has changed from February 18, and June 8 is now slated for early January 2016. According to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, the trial was postponed from June until January because “his attorney had several appeals,” and discovery, among other things. 

A source close to the case tells us that while Woodward has an exceptional defense team, so does the prosecution.  

Woodward’s defense team comes from Crowell & Moring, a Los Angeles-based firm. Partner Janet Levine, one of his attorneys, is a trial and appellate attorney with experience in “securities, health care, tax fraud and all manner of public corruption matters.”   

Also part of the team is partner Kelly Currie, a member of the White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement Group who “reps individuals in white collar criminal defense matters,” among other things.

On the victim’s side are Deputy District Attorney Habib Balian of the Major Crimes Division and Marguerite Rizzo of the Family Violence Division. Rizzo, incidentally was co-counsel on the well publicized “Grim Sleeper” case about Lonnie David Franklin Jr., who was charged with ten counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, and special circumstance allegations on multiple murders in the case.

We contacted Currie, Levine and Balian for comment. 

Balian didn’t have much to say yet because “We’re still in the pre-trial status and we’re moving forward as quickly as we can to trial and will have a better idea at the next court date.”

“We’ll see what Mr. Woodward has to say about that,” he said.

We have yet to hear from Woodward’s defense team.

If convicted, Woodward faces four counts of life in prison.

To read detailed coverage of the Woodward case, click here.

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