The trial of accused murderer Matthew N. Burton of Dagsboro has been postponed until February.
Burton’s attorney, Flynn Owens of Baltimore, said the defense requested the delay because attorneys need more time to review all the case material.
“It’s a large body of discovery, so this will allow us more time for preparation,” Owens said.
Burton’s trial had been scheduled in December. The 28-year-old Sussex County man remains at Worcester County Jail in Snow Hill, Md. He was extradited to Maryland following an Aug. 16 hearing in Georgetown.
Burton is charged with first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree rape, sexual offense, kidnapping and assault in the death of Nicole Bennett, a 35-year-old wife and mother of three from Long Neck.
Bennett was last heard from June 14 as she worked at Bay Shore Community Church outside Gumboro. Burton was also working at the church that night as a part-time custodian.
Bennett was found dead along a rural road outside Whaleyville, Md., June 15. She died from asphyxiation, according to the Maryland Medical Examiner’s Office.
After police found DNA evidence linking Burton to Bennett's death, a U.S. Marshal's Task Force arrested Burton outside Rehoboth Beach July 6.
Beau Oglesby, state’s attorney for Worcester County, is prosecuting the case.
All pretrial motions are due by Friday, Feb. 1. The trial is set to begin at 9:30 a.m., Monday, Feb. 11 in Snow Hill.