PENDLETON — Umatilla County Circuit Court delayed the manslaughter trial of Leman Louis Bledsoe of Milton-Freewater.
Bledsoe, 77, in late November asked the court to push back his trial, which was on the docket for Dec. 10-14. According to court records, Bledsoe wanted more time to prepare. Circuit Judge Christopher Brauer granted the request and set a pretrial hearing in the case for the morning of Jan. 17 in Pendleton.
Oregon State Police arrested Bledsoe the night of Aug. 15 for driving through a road construction zone on Highway 11 where his vehicle struck and killed flagger Tyresa Monaghan of Kennewick. The district attorney’s office charged Bledsoe with first-degree manslaughter, second-degree manslaughter, hit-and-run involving a person, driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless endangerment of highway workers, hit-and-run involving property, two counts of recklessly endangering another person and one count of reckless driving.
Bledsoe was serving probation for a 2015 menacing case, according to court records. Part of his compliance included not using alcohol.
The district attorney’s office also notified the court it could call as many 40 witnesses for the manslaughter trial. The list includes other victims, highway workers and emergency personnel. The state also could bring in Bledsoe’s previous alcohol and drug counselor to testify about his failure to comply with treatment and a state forensic scientist to testify to confirming the presence of Monaghan’s DNA on Bledsoe’s vehicle.
Bledsoe remains in the Umatilla County Jail, Pendleton, in lieu of $790,000 bail.