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

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 with his now wife, former Ocean Drive magazine editor Suzy Buckley, who is expecting the couple’s first child.

But the case is far from over. His next pretrial hearing is Oct. 3 or, in the event of a scheduling conflict, Oct. 17 in Los Angeles. The hearing will take place on the fabled 9th floor of the downtown criminal court building which, according to a source, is reserved for “‘long cause’ and/or complex cases that will take four weeks or more of trial.’ 

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.” But the big court date is the trial, which Balian says the judge has scheduled tentatively for Feb. 18, 2015.

“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.