TORRANCE – The trial for a man accused in a 2005 cold case murder has been postponed until 2024.
Former Inglewood teacher Charles Wright was scheduled for trial on Oct. 23 but it was postponed to give the defense additional time to prepare.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office provided a statement on the matter when reached for comment.
“Defense requested a continuance as they were awaiting DNA results which they’ve had ample time to have processed. They stated that they wouldn’t have the results in time to start jury selection. We objected based on a number of factors, but ultimately reluctantly agreed to the continuance. The judge granted the defense request for a continuance. The trial is now scheduled to begin February 15, 2024.”
Charles Wright is accused of the murder of Pertina Epps.
Wright, 57, pleaded not guilty to murder, aggravated kidnapping, and oral copulation by force charges Aug. 1 in a Torrance courtroom.
Wright was arrested on Jan. 27, 2022, and his bail was set initially set at $1 million but on June 28, 2022, his bail was revoked after he was linked to an additional case.
He has remained in custody pending the outcome of the trial.
Wright was linked to Epps death through DNA and a fingerprint left at the scene of the crime where Epps body was found dumped in a parking stall at a Gardena apartment.
Wright told the Los Angeles Times that fingerprint evidence linked to him was possibly due to his selling items.
“I didn’t do this,” Wright said. “The thing is, everybody that knows me knows that I used to sell bags and clothes out of my car … That’s the only possible way it could happen.” He said he believed people who purchased bags from him during that time period could confirm his story.
Epps was 21 years old at the time and a mother of two. According to her mother, Wright was not the only suspect attached to her daughter’s murder.
“I hope they have the right person this time,” she said.
Wright is a former educator and was working at Monroe Middle School in Inglewood at the time of his arrest.