Today, after months of delays, 31
entered a plea of not guilty to allegedly murdering and attempting to rape Placentia womanLynsie Ekelund
a decade ago.
This was McAmis' fourth appearance at the Superior Court in uptown Whittier since his arrest last October. As with previous appearances, he was clad in a blue Los Angeles County jail jumpsuit, hands cuffed in front of him, as he was led into the courtroom's glass holding chamber. "I love you," he mouthed to his wife, Kim McAmis, before entering his plea.
Later, after conferring with prosecutorMichael Michelena
outside the courtroom, a tearyNancy Ekelund
conceded she was overwhelmed by the possibility of a long trial for her daughter's accused killer.
"The process doesn't protect the peace and dignity of Lynsie or her family," she said.
She also wondered how McAmis could plead not guilty in the face of overwhelming evidence.
"It's just not right," she said.
McAmis is scheduled to return to court on April 12 for a preliminary hearing.
Accused murderer Chris McAmis requested a new arraignment date today via his public defender,Leslie Gordon
, at the Los Angeles Superior Court in Whittier. CommissionerArmando Moreno
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granted the request and set a new date for March 22, though he warned there would be no further continuances.
That will be the third arraignment hearing for the 32-year-old Fullerton man, whom police say strangled Fullerton College student Lynsie Ekelund 10 years ago, then dumped her body in a remote canyon in Santa Clarita. (See "Lynsie Ekelund's Accused Killer Awaits Arraignment.") McAmis is currently in the custody of Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deparment. He is being held without bail.
Gordon told Moreno she needed the continuance to examine several recorded witness statements taken by law-enforcement investigators and said there were also "forensic issues" that needed to be examined. She added she has been working two other trials concurrently. Meanwhile, McAmis, clad in a blue jail-issued jumpsuit, his hands cuffed in front of him, kept his head down except to say "yes" when asked if he understood he was waiving his right to a speedy preliminary hearing.
Outside the courtroom, a misty-eyed Nancy Ekelund, the victim's mother, expressed disappointment at the slow pace of the proceedings, but added, "I waited nine and a half years; I can wait two more months."