Bethany Storro makes court appearance

By Laura McVicker, Columbian staff writer

Published:

Updated: December 7, 2010, 6:02 PM

 
photoBethany Storro made an appearance in Judge John Nichols' Clark County courtroom Tuesday Dec. 7, 2010, in Vancouver to ask to postpone her trial until March. At right is her mother, Nancy Neuwelt.

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Her face still bright red and scarred from burns, a Vancouver woman who became an international media sensation for staging an acid attack appeared briefly Tuesday morning in Clark County Superior Court.

Twenty-eight-year-old Bethany Storro, who burned her face with drain cleaner and then concocted a story about a black woman throwing acid in her face, was in court to agree to postponing her trial date.

She was escorted into Superior Court Judge John Nichols’ courtroom by her mother and defense attorney, Andrew Wheeler. Wearing black pants, a dark gray shirt and black coat, Storro timidly approached the judge’s bench in between Wheeler and Deputy Prosecutor Tony Golik.

During the three-minute hearing, the judge said the attorneys told him they wanted to postpone Storro’s Dec. 20 trial date on charges of second-degree theft for donations received. To do so, Storro needed to waive her right to a speedy trial.

“Are you doing so voluntarily?” Nichols asked her.

“Yes, your honor,” she said quickly.

The judge then set a new trial date of March 9, with a readiness hearing March 4.

After signing paperwork, Storro, her mother and attorney left the courtroom.

It is standard for trial dates to be postponed at least once to give attorneys time to prepare their cases. After the hearing, Golik said the trial was delayed because of ongoing negotiations.

Storro, whose face appeared to have healed very little since her last court appearance in September, did not make any other statements.

The woman concocted a story about a black woman she did not know throwing acid in her face Aug. 30 near Esther Short Park in downtown Vancouver.

The community responded, donating nearly $28,000 to cover her medical costs. She is charged with three counts of second-degree theft by deception for donations she received from Safeway, Anytime Fitness and a California resident, Michael Kite.

According to the charges, Storro spent part of the money on clothes, dinner and a train ticket before admitting to police that the attack was a hoax. She told investigators that she wanted to die or get a new face, according to court documents.

Golik said Storro is still confined at a Vancouver-area residential mental health facility.