BARSTOW • Lawrence Rivera has yet to stand in front of a jury more than seven years after he was charged with the murder of a former Raytheon co-worker.

The 38-year-old Barstow man requested evidence from the district attorney during a motion for discovery hearing Friday. Rivera has made several requests for evidence discovery during hearings since taking over his own defense earlier this year. Rivera's five previous preliminary hearings have been postponed.

The District Attorney's office charged Rivera in the murder of Kristina Garcia, 26, and issued a warrant for his arrest in June of 2002. Rivera is accused of killing Garcia, a Lenwood woman who was found stabbed to death in May of 2002 in the desert near Yermo. Rivera and Garcia worked at Raytheon at the time of Garcia's disappearance.

Rivera fled the country and led investigators on a chase to Holland, Germany and finally Bathhurst, Australia, after the district attorney filed charges. Rivera was eventually arrested by Australian  police officers in September of 2002. Australian officers took Rivera into custody after they scanned his passport and it revealed that Interpol listed him as a fugitive from the United States, according to previous reports.

Although Rivera was in police custody, his extradition proceedings took more than five years to complete because of Rivera's multiple appeals. Australian authorities finally authorized his extradition after prosecutors agreed not to pursue the death penalty. Rivera was brought back to Barstow in January of 2008. He pleaded not guilty to the charges during an arraignment on January 11, 2008, according to court documents.

Rivera filed a Marsden motion to fire his attorney, Edward Stoliker, in November of 2008, but withdrew the motion during a pre-preliminary hearing in April of 2009, according to court documents. Rivera was also granted a Faretta motion, to represent himself in court, during that hearing.

Judge Cheryl Kersey denied Rivera's motion to stay the trial due to a civil case related to the murder trial during a hearing on May 15, 2009.

Rivera is currently being held at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga on $1 million bail. His next hearing is scheduled for August 19 at the Barstow courthouse.

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4126 or dheldreth@desertdispatch.com

Lawrence Rivera trial timeline
May 15, 2002: Kristina Garcia reported missing
May 22, 2002: Kristina Garcia's body found near Yermo
June 6, 2002: District Attorney charges Rivera with murder
September 18, 2002: Rivera arrested in Australia
January 9, 2008: Rivera extradited to the United States
January 11, 2008: Rivera pleads not guilty to murder
April 1, 2009: Rivera files motion to represent himself in court