Trial delayed another 4 months in gay Dallas man’s 2008 murder, dismemberment

Seth Winder

Last week we told you the trial of Seth Winder, who’s charged with first-degree murder in the September 2008 dismemberment of gay Dallas resident Richard Hernandez — was scheduled to go forward this month, on Jan. 24.

We also told you that the Denton County District Attorney’s Office, which is handling the case, was a little skeptical about the trial date because jail records showed that Winder’s defense attorney, Derek Adame, hadn’t visited his client recently.

Well, according to Denton County court records, the trial has now been pushed back until May 23. That’s a delay of four additional months. If Winder’s trial goes forward on May 24, it will have been more than 2 ½ years since Hernandez’s murder. But at this point, we’d say that’s a pretty big “if.”

Neither prosecutors nor Adame could immediately be reached for comment.

—  John Wright

Trial in gay Dallas man’s murder set for Jan. 24, but DA’s office warns that’s ‘subject to change’

Seth Winder

We received a message Monday from Karen Winder, the stepmother of Seth Winder, who’s awaiting trial on a charge of first-degree murder in the death of Richard Hernandez, a gay man from Dallas who was brutally dismembered in September 2008.

Karen Winder, who wrote a book about the case, was wondering if we’d heard whether the trial — which has been repeatedly delayed for a variety of reasons — is expected to go forward as scheduled on Jan. 24.

“The prosector has never responded to me and [defense attorney Derek] Adame won’t talk to Rodney [Seth's father] or me and we have tried to contact him by phone and e-mail in the past,” Karen Winder wrote. “I could try to call his office again, but I doubt he will talk to us, though he talks to Seth’s mother.”

In response to Winder’s message, we contacted Jamie Beck, first assistant district attorney for Denton County, where the crime occurred. Here’s what Beck said:

“It is scheduled to go to trial Jan. 24, that week. Voir dire would probably be most of the day Monday, with testimony likely to begin Tuesday the 25th,” Beck said. “We are prepared to have that as an official trial date. However, those are always subject to change, and the reason why I have a little bit of hesitation this time, is because we’re able to access the visitation log at the jail, and his attorney has not been to see him in quite some time. That doesn’t necessarily mean anything — they can communicate in other fashions — but we’re just a little skeptical about his readiness for trial here in just a couple of weeks. But, we’re planning to go. There’s been no motion for a continuance filed at this point in time, and certainly none ruled on. So as of right now, it is a solid trial date. That’s always subject to change, and that’s the best I can give you right now.”

We’ve left a message for Adame and we’ll update once we hear back.

—  John Wright