Wow! I wondered what had happened to this case we reported back in 2008, and just tonight up pops the news that the trial will begin in January for Esar Met who we learned in 2012 is a Burmese Muslim (a Rohingya?). The victim, Hser Ner Moo, was a Christian and both had been resettled in the same apartment complex in Salt Lake City.
Here is what a news report in 2008 said (I didn’t see it until 2012):
Rage flashed through the muddy lanes where Hser Ner Moo had once skipped rope and played hide-and-seek. In the camp, tension lingers between the Karen and Muslims, and some choose to live apart. Hser Ner Moo and Esar had lived in separate sections of Mae La.
America had made them neighbors.
Not America!—the resettlement contractors in Salt Lake City! and the US State Department! who have some naive notion that generations of “tensions” between Christians and Muslims can simply be erased by dropping people into America’s magical (mythical!) melting pot!
This is the news this evening from The Salt Lake Tribune (emphasis mine):
Prosecutors and defense attorneys still have much to do before a Burmese refugee accused of kidnapping and killing a young girl at the South Salt Lake apartment complex where they both lived in 2008 is brought to trial.
But Senior Judge Judith Atherton said Wednesday she doesn’t want to postpone the case any longer.
After nearly six years of delays, Esar Met’s three-week trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 6.
Met, 26, is charged in 3rd District Court with first-degree felony counts of aggravated murder and child kidnapping in connection with the March 2008 slaying of 7-year-old Hser Ner Moo.
On Wednesday, defense attorneys asked the judge to suppress evidence in the case they said was collected using illegal or unethical methods and petitioned the court to have prosecutors use diagrams instead of certain graphic photos that, the defense argued, are “too gruesome” for jurors.
Prosecutors called the photos relevant, saying they show the brutality with which the child was killed and the injuries she suffered.
Atherton will issue a decision next week on whether or not a jury will be allowed to view the photos, which depict the 7-year-old girl crumpled inside a bathroom stall, bloodied and naked from the waist down, with obviously broken bones and bruised and damaged genitals.
Hser Ner Moo disappeared on March 31, 2008, prompting hundreds of volunteers to search for her before police found her body in Met’s apartment the next night. Her family lived in the same complex, and the girl was acquainted with Met.
Read the whole article, there will be legal wrangling over whether proper interpreters interviewed the alleged killer.
All of our mentions of this Utah murder case may be found here.