PENN YAN — The trial of a Branchport man accused of killing his mother has been delayed.
Yates County District Attorney Todd Casella said the trial of Paul Khouzam, originally scheduled to begin May 8, will now start July 16 — a Thursday — with jury selection.
Friday has been reserved for jury selection too. Testimony in the trial, which is expected to last two weeks, will likely begin July 20.
Casella said the delay will give a medical witness for the defense, a psychiatrist, more time to finish a report. That report will then be looked at by a psychiatrist who will be a prosecution witness.
Khouzam, 38, faces charges of murder, burglary, criminal possession of a weapon, and cruelty to animals in the death of his mother, Dr. Magda Daoud, following an August 2018 incident at her home on Arrowhead Beach Road in Torrey, just north of Dresden.
Khouzam is accused of beating and stabbing his mother with a hammer and a knife during the early-morning hours of Aug. 6. Daoud, 67, died at a Monroe County hospice facility two months later.
Police also found a small dog Daoud owned dead in the home.
Pretrial hearings in the case are scheduled for next month. Khouzam is being represented by court-appointed Robert Zimmerman, an experienced area attorney.
Zimmerman has asked for a Huntley hearing, which determines if statements made by Khouzam to police officers can be used at his trial. Casella said Khouzam made “numerous statements to various police officers.”
County Judge Jason Cook also authorized a limited Mapp hearing, which determines if evidence can be suppressed due to search and seizure. At issue is Khouzam’s cell phone, which was taken by police. Casella claims Khouzam consented to police taking the phone and downloading information from it.
Khouzam, who was on probation for charges in Schuyler County at the time of his arrest, is being held in the Yates County Jail without bail for violation of probation. His bail on the murder and other charges is $1 million cash or $2 million bond.