WENATCHEE- A man accused in the 1982 cold-case murder of a Cashmere man appeared in court yesterday seeking dismissal on all charges.
Bernard Swaim has pleaded not guilty to first degree murder in the death of Steven Smith and is now asking the court to dismiss the charges. Swaim’s trial was set to begin August 22.
Swaim’s attorney, Nick Yedinak claimed his client was denied due process citing the County’s decision to delay charges for 34 years.
After three hours of testimony Judge Lesley Allan continued the hearing to next week
He also alleges Sheriff’s detectives mishandled evidence over that time causing prejudice to his client so that he can no longer receive a fair trial. Tuesday’s hearing included testimony from several including Sheriff Sergeant Jeff Middleton and Detective Josh Mathena.
Swaim and his ex-wife, Dawn Soles are both charged in Smith’s murder. Soles was also married to the victim and its alleged that she and Swaim conspired to get him drunk and then kill him. Smith’s body was never found.