On November 29, 1988, the defense made a written motion for continuance, asserting that counsel needed more time for factual investigation. At the hearing on December 13, attorney Miller asked for a March 24, 1989, date, which he thought “would be ample time” to complete the defense preparation. With agreement of both parties, the court set a readiness conference date of March 1, 1989, which, with a 20-day time waiver, would mean beginning jury selection on March 21.
On March 1, 1989, defendant moved for a further continuance, asserting that attorneys Miller and Jacke expected to be engaged in other trials through April and June, respectively. Miller suggested July 28 as a trial date. Although disturbed that counsel had allowed other trial commitments to interfere with the agreed date for trial in this case, the court granted the continuance to July 10, 1989, with a 10-day time waiver. The court ordered defense counsel not to become engaged in any other proceedings that would interfere with this trial.
On May 26, 1989, the court held a status conference. The prosecutor stated that the People would be ready to begin trial proceedings on July 10, the date previously set. Defense attorney Miller, however, stated the defense would not be ready because (1) the guilt phase investigation was not complete, (2) the penalty phase investigation had not been started, (3) cocounsel Jacke was “continuously engaged” in other trials and had been unable to assist, and (4) Miller and Jacke had planned a joint vacation (at a legal conference in China) for late August through early September. Jacke said he was representing a defendant in the “Ninja murder case” who would not waive time; he did not expect to finish that trial until late November 1989. The court suggested that Jacke consider resigning as counsel and that Miller consider obtaining new cocounsel. The court ordered counsel back for a trial setting conference on June 28.