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Published: Wednesday, 4/27/2005

Trial date moved for man accused of 1974 murder

Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Charles Wittenberg set a new trial date yesterday for a Texas man accused of the 1974 killing of James "Ronnie" Hendricks.

David Delacruz, 62, was scheduled to go on trial yesterday for murder, but Judge Wittenberg granted a request from Delacruz's attorney, David Klucas, to delay the proceeding. Judge Wittenberg set the new trial date for Monday.

Delacruz was arrested last year in south Texas, where he fled days after he allegedly shot Mr. Hendricks in the abdomen at his apartment at 118 22nd St.

Although a murder warrant was filed, Toledo police mistakenly failed to enter his name into a special FBI database of fugitives used by law enforcement to check on the backgrounds of people they stop.

While living in Texas for nearly three decades, Delacruz repeatedly passed background checks because his name was not entered into the FBI database.

Toledo police resumed their search one or two years ago. They found Delacruz living in Texas last fall, using his real name and birth date.

If convicted of murder, Delacruz would be sentenced to life in prison, with parole eligibility after 15 years. He is being held in the Lucas County jail in lieu of $250,000 bond.

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