Update: Judge assigns alleged 'Manhattan Heights sex predator' new public defender; new trial date to be set

Denise Olivas, Anchor / Reporter, deniseo@kvia.com
POSTED: 07:23 AM MST Nov 21, 2013    UPDATED: 06:07 PM MST Jan 16, 2014 
Arturo Valtierra
EL PASO, Texas -

9:57 a.m. Nov. 21, 2013 Update:  Judge Luis Aguilar has assigned Artury Valtierra-Payan a new public defender after deciding the one he was assigned was unprepared.

At a hearing Thursday morning, Valtierra's public defender John Garcia was unprepared and kept interrupting Aguilar, trying to explain why he wasn't ready.

Garcia said he was just put on the case two weeks ago. But the judge said they have not been ready for the past four hearings so he assigned a new public defender, Patrick Lara.

Aguilar also set up a new status hearing 30 days from now, meaning the Dec. 6 trial has been pushed to another day. A new trial date was not announced.

The prosecutor for the case is Penny Hamilton of the Fort Worth District Attorney's Office. Another reason for all the delays was because the DNA testing has not even started.

Previous story: The man accused of raping three women and dubbed the 'Manhattan Heights predator' by El Paso Police is due in court Thursday morning.

Arturo Valtierra, 25, is facing rape and burglary charges for the attack of one woman. In October, he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

He is also accused of violently attacking a married couple. All the victims including Valtierra lived in the the Manhattan Heights neighborhood.

Court documents stated the first and second attack happened May 31 less than an hour apart.

Valtierra then reportedly attacked two more women in June.

He was arrested in July after police found him in a trailer park off Alameda Avenue in El Paso's lower valley.

Valtierra is also linked to two rape cases in Fort Worth. Terrant County prosecutors said his DNA matches the unsolved cases.

Valtierra is expected to appear in 243rd District Court before Judge Luis Aguilar at 8:00 am.