KINGMAN — The new attorney for the purported ringleader of an area prostitution operation said Monday that she might not be ready for the Aug. 20 trial date.
Scottsdale attorney Josephine Hallam appeared with Amanda Yamauchi, 47, before Judge Billy Sipe at a status hearing. Yamauchi is charged in a multi-count indictment of involvement in human trafficking and forcing women to work as prostitutes in an alleged ring that operated in Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City.
Hallam takes over for defense attorney Brad Rideout, who was allowed to withdraw from the case on April 22 when he informed 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.
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 for July 22.
Monday’s hearing was conducted with the help of a translator who appeared by telephone, translating into Mandarin Chinese for Yamauchi’s benefit.
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.
Sipe granted Hallam’s request that Yamauchi, who is out on bail, 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.