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Nouman Raja trial in Corey Jones case delayed until April 2018

Posted at 8:39 AM, Jun 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-20 17:57:22-04

The trial date for former Palm Beach Gardens Police officer Norman Raja has been delayed again.

Both the defense and the state agreed Tuesday morning that they need more time to prepare.

RELATED: More Corey Jones coverage

The trial has been moved from the end of October 2017 to April 2, 2018.

Prosecutors say Raja fatally shot Corey Jones while the drummer was waiting for help with his broken down car at the PGA Boulevard exit off Interstate 95 in October 2015.

During Tuesday's hearing, it was revealed that the defense thinks the trial could last up to three weeks. There will be a pre-trial conference at the end of March.

"We're still grieving, but we are going to fight to the end," said Clinton Jones Sr., Corey Jones' father. 

Several of Corey's family members were present at Raja's court hearing. Raja's defense attorney Richard Lubin said his team has taken 40 depositions and there are still a lot more to go.

"I think both sides agree it’s a complicated case with dozens of dozens of witnesses and a lot of science and everybody working," said Lubin.

There are no eyewitnesses to the shooting, but there were people who may have heard something a hotel nearby. Perhaps the most important evidence is a recording of a 3 a.m. roadside assistance call. It's the only evidence that reveals what was said when Raja approached Jones and when shots were fired.

The FBI created an animation on what may have occurred and how by using the recording and 911 call from Raja along with the positioning of the cars and bullet casings. 

"There's a lot of witnesses, a lot of science involved, so there will be a lot of expert witnesses," added Lubin.

Raja has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and manslaughter charges. In an interview with investigators, he said Jones pointed a gun at him. Jones's gun never fired. His family believes Jones died not knowing Raja was a police officer.

"I'm looking for a positive outcome concerning the trial, and if it don't happen it will be a sad day for the people of Palm Beach County and surrounding areas," added Corey's father.