• Attorney wants more time to prepare in Deltona wife, stepchildren murder trial


    DELTONA, Fla. - A Deltona man accused of killing his wife and stepchildren was back in court Tuesday where his attorney told a judge he needs more time before going to trial.

    Luis Toledo was arrested in October and has confessed to killing his wife, Yessenia Suarez, but maintains an accomplice killed the children, 9-year-old Thalia Otto and 8-year-old Michael Otto.

    Toledo's attorney, Jeffrey Deen, on Tuesday objected to a plea being entered so the court automatically entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

    Toledo has not waived his right to a speedy trial but his day in court keeps getting pushed back.

    Toledo glanced at the one family member in the DeLand courtroom on his side. His beard was trimmed and he appeared healthier than he did in past court appearances.

    During his last hearing, Channel 9 learned of his hunger strike and hoarding of pills. His attorney wouldn't say much on his condition behind bars, but implied he is doing better.

    Toledo stood silently during his arraignment in the deaths of his wife and stepchildren.

    In court records obtained by Channel 9 on Monday, it was presented that Toledo suspected his wife of having an affair.

    But Toledo's attorney told the judge he should have gotten those same discovery records much earlier and argued that he needs time to go through it all.

    "It's very emotional and I think in cases like this, it is really incumbent on me to respect the process, respect the people involved and make sure we do what we're supposed to do," said Deen.

     Suarez's parents were in court Tuesday but did not want to speak on camera.

    Toledo has a pretrial hearing on March 18 and a trial date in the middle of April, but the judge said that date will likely change.

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    Attorney wants more time to prepare in Deltona wife, stepchildren murder trial