SOUTH BEND - Pacific County Superior Court has set a trial date for Martin Jones, who is accused of shooting Washington State Patrol Trooper Scott Johnson in February.

According to the court, the trial will begin Oct. 18 and will run Monday through Thursday for three weeks. An omnibus hearing also has been set for the end of August.

During an omnibus hearing, the court gives the parties involved an opportunity to raise issues that may affect the trial. These issues could include pre-trial suppression motions, motions to continue the trial, motions to amend the information, etc., and the defense could renew a request to set a discovery deadline in the case.

Jones was charged in February with first-degree attempted murder for the shooting of Johnson the night of Feb. 13 in downtown Long Beach. A second charge, first-degree assault while armed with a firearm, was for Jones' alleged attack on George Hill. Both charges include aggravating factors and firearm enhancements. The maximum sentence for each charge is life in prison.

Pacific County Prosecutor David Burke said he has asked the state attorney general's office to assist county attorneys in the prosecution of Martin Jones.

"We're available to help local prosecutors with big cases," Assistant Attorney General John Hillman, who, along with Lana Weismann, will be assisting with the case, said. "There are several reasons. Many law enforcement agencies responded to the scene and there were many witnesses. There also will be medical testimony and testimony to prove the shot came from Jones' gun."

Hillman said that, as far as he knows now, a change of venue in the case won't be requested for the trial.

The AG's office assisted the county in the Knotek trial in 2003.

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