Due to a flurry of unresolved pretrial motions, the start of jury selection was postponed Monday for the murder trial of a felon accused of fatally stabbing a senior citizen in Desert Hot Springs.
Albert Marchain, 29, of Desert Hot Springs, is charged with killing 69-year-old Stanislaw Tokarski, whose body was found on Nov. 12, 2018, in the 66900 block of Hacienda Avenue.
Marchain could be sentenced to a maximum 56 years to life in prison if convicted of the murder charge, with a sentence-enhancing allegation of using a weapon — a knife — in the commission of the crime.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Dean Benjamini previously ordered multiple panels of prospective jurors to report to the Larson Justice Center in Indio, a process that could now begin as soon as Tuesday. The screening process is slated to last through early next week, when opening statements are expected, according to prosecutors.
Marchain was arrested a day after allegedly stabbing Tokarski multiple times.
A motive for the attack has not been made public. It is also unclear whether Marchain knew the victim.
Criminal proceedings were previously suspended when the defendant’s attorney raised a doubt about his client’s ability to assist in his own defense.
Marchain underwent a mental health evaluation, and a judge found Marchain was mentally competent to stand trial.
Marchain, who remains behind bars in lieu of $1 million bail, has felony convictions in Riverside County including receiving stolen property and battery on a peace officer.