By Stephen Kokx
SAN FRANCISCO, California, April 22, 2019 — Pro-life activist David Daleiden won an unexpected victory last week. Late in the evening on Good Friday, California Superior Court Judge Christopher Hite vacated the preliminary hearings against Daleiden and his co-defendant Sandra Merritt that were scheduled to begin Monday in San Francisco. The surprising move, hailed by Daleiden’s legal team at the Thomas More Society as a “welcome development,” has the effect of indefinitely delaying the hearings against the 30-year-old investigative reporter.
The two-week long hearings would have determined if Daleiden and Merritt would face a jury trial for the 15 felonies they are being charged with by the California Attorney General’s office for releasing in 2015 videos of Planned Parenthood employees discussing the sale of aborted baby parts.
The hearings were expected to feature sworn testimony from abortionists as well as expert witnesses in defense of Daleiden’s decision to record attendees at the 2014 and 2015 National Abortion Federation annual conferences. Daleiden’s undercover videos, currently under a federal injunction ban, were also expected to be shown in the courtroom.
Judge Hite’s decision to vacate the hearings came just after California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye issued a “stay” of “all further proceedings” in the criminal prosecution of Daleiden and Merritt Friday evening. The stay was issued so to “permit consideration” by the California Supreme Court of a petition for review filed by Merritt’s lawyers earlier on Friday.
Daleiden’s defense team previously requested a stay but it was rejected by Hite and by the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Division One. Merritt’s petition prompted the grant of the stay order by the Chief Justice, thus halting today’s hearing for both Daleiden and Merritt.
Editor’s note. This appeared at LifeSiteNews and is reposted with permission.