HEPPNER – Another delay occurred Thursday in the attempted murder case against Adam Harvill, 31, of Heppner. He was arrested for what is described as a vicious assault on his significant other last July, and since then he’s gone through three court-appointed attorneys.
Harvill was scheduled for a pretrial conference Thursday. It didn’t happen because the defendant’s latest attorney failed to call in to participate. Morrow County District Attorney Justin Nelson said it has been rescheduled for May 20.
Nelson said that the changes of attorney have really slowed things down.
“That’s really what kind of drags cases out,” he said. “Each new attorney has to basically start the case from fresh.”
Nelson said that Harvill is accused of strangling his partner so severely that she passed out one night and didn’t regain consciousness until the next morning.
“It is a very close line between passing out and dying, and the defendant appears to not have cared,” Nelson wrote.
Cases that are frequently delayed end up costing the county due to the expense of lodging a suspect in jail. Nelson said that’s important, but delays hurt victims far more.
“The victim has to deal with that stress that there hasn’t been a judgement in that case,” he said. “This person could be let out at any time. There’s no conviction. That’s affecting that person’s life every single day.”