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Julian Collazo testifies at the Rock County Courthouse in Janesville during his first trial last fall, which resulted in a mistrial. A new trial is now scheduled for February 2021.

JANESVILLE

A trial in a Janesville murder case has been delayed nearly five months because Rock County courtrooms are not yet equipped to handle coronavirus issues.

Julian D. Collazo, 23, is accused of killing Christine H. Scaccia-Lubeck, 43, in December 2017. He faces life in prison if convicted on the charge of first-degree intentional homicide.

Collazo’s trial was scheduled to begin Sept. 14, the first criminal jury trial to be held in the Rock County Courthouse since the pandemic forced officials to move court hearings to online meeting apps.

Scaccia-Lubeck’s body was found Dec. 9, 2017, in her home. She had been stabbed more than 30 times.

Collazo’s first trial last fall ended in a mistrial Oct. 24 when jurors could not agree on a verdict.

In delaying the trial, Judge Barb McCrory said the courts’ coronavirus safety measures would not be in place in September. The one-week trial is now scheduled to start Feb. 8.

Assistant District Attorney Scott Dirks said this is the trial’s third postponement. He suggested a date in the new year so everyone could be as sure as possible that the date would not be changed.

“I realize the victim wants this done; Mr. Collazo wants it done, but I think as a practical matter that’s how we ought to proceed,” Dirks said.

McCrory has not yet ruled on a defense motion to move the trial to another county or to bring a jury from another county because of pretrial publicity.

Dirks has asked to delay his response to the motion until he knows the details of how the trial will be conducted under the coronavirus plan.

McCrory said one factor in the decision to delay the trial is not knowing what rules another county might have for its trials or for selecting its juries.

Collazo remains at the Rock County Jail on a $500,000 cash bond.