LANCASTER – David Grajeda, the man accused of interfering with a pubic meeting based on his actions at a Lancaster Criminal Justice Commission meeting, was scheduled to begin trial Monday at the Antelope Valley courthouse, but his case was continued to March.
His recently appointed defense attorney, David Harris, asked for more time to file a motion to exclude certain evidence in advance of the trial. Judge Akemi Arakaki continued the case to March 5 for the motions hearing, where the defense will try to limit what evidence the prosecution can bring forth.
It was not clear Monday what evidence the defense was seeking to limit or exclude.
Grajeda, a frequent speaker and critic at Lancaster City Council meetings, was arrested on Oct. 25 as he attempted to enter a City Council meeting. He was charged with interfering with a public meeting based on his actions at an Oct. 12 Criminal Justice Commission meeting. View video of those actions here. Grajeda’s bail was initially set at $5,000 for the misdemeanor charge, but was later raised to $25,000. Grajeda was jailed for 16 days before bailing out on Nov. 9, and then hit with a restraining order barring him from Lancaster City Hall. On Nov. 16, Grajeda’s case was continued to Jan. 12 for pretrial, and on Nov. 22, Grajeda requested to represent himself going forward. On Jan. 12, Grajeda was admonished for subpoenaing City officials to testify at pretrial and ordered to appoint standby counsel.
Monday Grajeda said he was no longer representing himself and was turning his case over to his defense attorney, David Harris, whom he had selected on Jan. 27.
“I felt it was in the best interest of the court not to waste their time and my time so I appointed an attorney,” Grajeda said. “My attorney will be deciding from this point [on] what will be happening with the case.”
Grajeda, who is also running for mayor of Lancaster, said his pending case will not affect his campaign because “election is a separate issue.” He said having private counsel also means he will have more time to dedicate to his campaign.
“Now that I have an attorney, I don’t have to spend time thinking about filing motions,” Grajeda said. “I found the right lawyer with the right personality.”
Grajeda said he still has no plans to settle the case against him.
“I’m fighting this case all the way,” he said. “I’m taking it to the box.”