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No trial date set in murder case

Preliminary hearing moved to mid-Sept.

Posted: August 19, 2008 8:50 p.m.
Updated: October 21, 2008 5:02 a.m.
The preliminary hearing setting for accused murderer Michael Dean Stephens was continued Tuesday in San Fernando Superior Court.

Stephens, 19, is charged with the Nov. 24, 2007, murder of Joshua Pipho, 20, and the attempted murder of Chad Weitz, 22.

Last November, Stephens turned himself in at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station after being accused of fatally stabbing and driving over Pipho in Stevenson Ranch

The case is still in the discovery phase as prosecutors and Stephens’ defense attorneys are exchanging evidence, deputy District Attorney Mary Sedgwick said. She said a date for the preliminary trial has not been set, but another preliminary hearing setting is scheduled for Sept. 16 in San Fernando Superior Court.

The attack occurred at the Diamond Head condo complex in the 25000 block of Steinbeck Avenue after Weitz and Pipho reportedly noticed a group of men vandalizing a car. Stephens allegedly approached Pipho, stabbed him, then drove over him with a car. Weitz, coming to Pipho’s aid, was allegedly hit by the car before being stabbed some 17 times. While in the hospital, Weitz was treated for a punctured lung and received four blood transfusions.

Stephens is being held at Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles in lieu of $1.5 million bail. 



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