The preliminary hearing for Joseph Nieves, accused of the killing of Ric Ortiz in Hayfork on Dec. 11, has been rescheduled for later this month. Nieves remains in Trinity County Jail on $1.5 million bail and originally had a preliminary hearing set for Dec. 30.

According to Sheriff’s investigators, Nieves and Ortiz were involved in a dispute over property issues and Ortiz was shot and killed shortly after a deputy left the property, having advised the two that they needed to work it out. While it’s been alleged that Nieves was a former New York Police Department officer, that information has not been confirmed.

A preliminary hearing is used to hear testimony that will determine if there is enough evidence to proceed with a trial. Deputy District Attorney James Gandy said the preliminary hearing was rescheduled to Wednesday, Jan. 13.

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