The man accused of killing a University of Vermont student last October will go on trial on an unrelated sexual assault charge before he is tried for the death of Michelle Gardner-Quinn.
Prosecutors say the other alleged crimes committed by 36-year-old Brian Rooney occurred before Gardner-Quinn was killed, the victim is alive and the case isn’t as complicated.
Defense Attorney David Sleigh says trying Rooney on the sexual assault charge first could make it difficult for him to get a fair trial for the killing of Gardner-Quinn.
The 21-year-old Gardner-Quinn, of Arlington, Virginia, disappeared on October 7th. Her body was discovered six days later.
The search for Gardner-Quinn led police to the other charges against Rooney.
Rooney has pleaded not guilty.