Her new attorney told the court Monday that she might not be ready for the Aug. 20 trial of the purported ringleader of alleged massage parlor prostitution operations in Lake Havasu and Bullhead City. Scottsdale attorney Jospehine Hallam appeared with Amanda Yamauchi, 47, before Judge Billy Sipe.
Hallam takes over for defense attorney Brad Rideout who was allowed to withdraw from the case on April 22 when he informed Judge Sipe that he had a “breakdown in communications” with Yamauchi.
Hallam told the court that she has read about half of the voluminous discovery material and that she’ll need at least two weeks more to finish that task before moving on to witness interviews. “I don’t know that an August trial date is feasible,” she said.
Judge Sipe encouraged Hallam to do the best she can, acknowledging the trial might have to be continued. He said that will be considered during the status hearing he scheduled July 22.
Monday’s hearing was conducted with the help of a translator who appeared telephonically, translating in Mandarin for Yamauchi’s benefit. Yamauchi is charged in a multi-count indictment accusing her of involvement in human trafficking and forcing women to work as prostitutes.
More than a half dozen others face various charges for their alleged roles in the operation that was the focus of a two year investigation.
Judge Sipe granted Hallam’s request that Yamauchi be allowed to reside in Las Vegas and commute to legal proceedings in Kingman. Hallam said she’ll soon be filing a motion seeking funds to hire a special investigator to work the case.