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No trial before summer in pair of 1995 slayings

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By Scott North
Herald Writer
  • A 1999 sketch of the man then sought in the killing of Patti Berry, and a 2010 prison booking photo of Danny Giles.

    A 1999 sketch of the man then sought in the killing of Patti Berry, and a 2010 prison booking photo of Danny Giles.

EVERETT -- A man charged with killing two Snohomish County women more than 17 years ago likely won't be going on trial until sometime this summer -- and that may be pushing things, a judge was told Thursday.
Danny Ross Giles, 45, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder connected to the July 1995 stabbing death of Patti Berry and the May 1995 disappearance of Tracey Brazzel.
The former Everett man, who has a long history of sex crimes, made a brief appearance in Snohomish County Superior Court on Thursday while lawyers updated a judge on the status of his case. Giles has pleaded not guilty to the murder charges.
Giles' trial initially was scheduled for January but within weeks was moved to late March. Lawyers on both sides of the case on Thursday asked Judge Anita Farris to reschedule the trial for sometime in June.
"Even that date is not a realistic date," said Neal Friedman, one of two seasoned public defenders who have been assigned to represent Giles.
More than 10,000 pages of police reports and other records already have been collected in the case, the judge was told.
Meanwhile, investigation continues, deputy prosecutor Craig Matheson said.
Giles has been locked up in the Snohomish County Jail since the murder charges were filed in November, his bail set at $4 million.
Previously, the convicted rapist had been at the state's Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island, where he was awaiting a civil trial to determine whether he is a sexually violent predator. That case was dismissed after the murder charges were filed, but could be reactivated by prosecutors at any time.
Giles' criminal history includes convictions for raping a Lynnwood woman in 1987 while she was in a tanning bed and for exposing himself to two college-aged women near the University of Washington in 2005. His record also includes peeping and other offenses against women and girls, starting in his teens and continuing into middle age.
He repeatedly refused sex offender treatment while in prison, records show.
On Thursday, Giles made it clear that he wasn't terribly pleased to be waiving his right to a speedy trial on the murder charges, but given the amount of discovery in the case and the availability of his attorneys, he saw no other option.
"What choice do I have?" he said when the judge asked him if he understood what was happening.
Prosecutors say Giles has been linked to Berry and Brazzel through science, and through his lifestyle, circa 1995.
Investigation by cold-case detectives with the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office has determined Giles in 1995 frequented Kodiak Ron's, which was then located south of Everett at the intersection of Highway 99 and Airport Road.
That's where Brazzel, 22, was last seen alive. The same is true of Berry, 26, who was spotted at a convenience store in the same block, where she went looking for air to fill a leaking tire on her car, according to court papers.
Giles wasn't a suspect in either case until about five years ago. That's when tests found his DNA allegedly mixed with Berry's on the steering wheel of her car. Detectives in 1995 had preserved the steering wheel as evidence after removing it from Berry's blood-spattered car. The statistical probability of a random match to Giles was calculated at 1 in 580 million, according to court papers.
The connection to Brazzel came in 2010 after tests on the blood droplets found in 1995 on the outside of Brazzel's car. The blood contained Giles' DNA, and the statistical probability of a random match was calculated at 1 in 56 quadrillion, prosecutors say.
Cold-case detectives still are interested in talking with anyone who has information about Giles, particularly any connections he may have with Kodiak Ron's or Honey's, a nude nightclub that used to be located along Highway 99 south of Everett. The sheriff's office tip line is 425- 388-3841.
Scott North: 425-339-3431;
Story tags » EverettLynnwoodProsecutionSex CrimesHomicide

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