Warren Forrest’s September trial canceled

Clark County

The trial was supposed to start September 20

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — KOIN 6 News has learned the long awaited trial this month for a suspected serial killer will be canceled.

It’s been nearly 50 years since detectives say Warren Forrest began killing women. Now, his victims and family members will have to keep waiting for justice.

Forrest is accused of killing 7 women from Clark County and Portland in the early 1970s, but was only tried and convicted of killing 1. Clark County investigators have tied him to the 1974 murder of a teenager Martha Morrison through DNA. The trial was supposed to start September 20, but the prosecutor on the case was just appointed as judge, so a new prosecutor has to take over the very complicated case.

Forrest’s defense attorney Sean Downs has also indicated he may plead not guilty by reason of insanity. He successfully plead insanity in his first trial after a woman survived his brutal attack at Lacamas Lake. He spent 5 years in the state mental hospital before being convicted of killing Krista Blake in 1979.

Starr Lara is one of the victim’s family members frustrated by the delay. Detectives think her sister Jamie Grissim was Forrest’s first murder. December will mark 50 years since she disappeared from Fort Vancouver High School. Her school ID was found near Martha Morrison’s remains and the remains of Carol Valenzuela in remote Clark County. It was Starr who kept pushing detectives to investigate, which lead to the DNA breakthrough.

“I knew in my heart that whoever killed Carol and Martha killed Jamie, you know? And so, you know, that’s as close as I can come to justice for her,” Lara said.

The trial will be delayed at least several more months, which would make it two years since he was charged with Martha Morrison’s murder.

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