Adrial gets new trial

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Adrial gets new trial

RACINE - Adrial White's new trial will go forward, without an appeal by the state.

Judge Charles Constantine ordered the new trial for White, 32, after his new attorneys argued that White's trial attorney was ineffective. White was convicted in November 2006 of killing Christopher "Eric" Carbajal, wounding Enrico Serra Jr., and shooting at Phillip Jardina on Jan. 18, 2006, after he caught them breaking into the car of his then-fiancee. The two have since married.

White is serving a life sentence for Carbajal's murder.

After Constantine granted White's motion for a new trial, the state asked for time to pursue an appeal of his decision. The state submitted transcripts and briefs to the Office of the Attorney General for review.

On Tuesday the Attorney General's Office voluntarily dismissed the appeal. Staff assessed the case and decided that an appeal was not warranted, officials said.

Mark Richards, the attorney who has been handling White's appeal, expects to represent White in the new trial, though he has not been formally retained.

At his initial trial, White claimed self-defense. He said that Ruth White, his fiancee at the time, woke him up to tell him someone was breaking into her car.

White grabbed a gun and went out the side door of the home, into the alley between Arthur and Blaine avenues near 15th Street. In his account, he said that he saw the would-be thieves with weapons and feared for his safety.

White then fired the gun several times.

Serra and Jardina told the story differently. They said that while they were trying to remove a speaker box from the car, White came out of the door. They said he was yelling at them, and immediately began to fire the gun.

Serra was shot in the upper back; a bullet was removed from his jaw. Bullets passed through Jardina's clothing. Carbajal was shot in the back.

Jardina, Serra and Richard Carbajal, who remained in a van parked around the corner, said they picked Eric Carbajal up off the ground and took him to the hospital.

The medical examiner who completed the autopsy on Eric Carbajal's body testified that the front of his body was pressed against something hard - like the ground - when he was shot. At the preliminary hearing she called it an "execution-style" shooting.

Richards and Hall retained their own medical examiner to review the evidence. Their expert said the irregular appearance of the exit wound was caused by a tumbling bullet, not because Carbajal was lying face down on the ground.

The state, through a special prosecutor, charged Serra, Jardina and Richard Carbajal with the theft that preceded the homicide. Serra was sentenced to 18 months probation. Jardina and Carbajal were each sentenced to one year probation.

Previously, both sides have said they will be ready to move quickly with the new trial. Richards has said he and his partner, Christy Hall, plan to file an extensive set of motions that would need to be addressed before the new trial.

White's first trial lasted about a week.

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