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Easthampton man’s slaying trial postponed

June 7, 2013

NORHTAMPTON, Mass. (AP) — The trial of an Easthampton man charged with killing his girlfriend has been postponed until October at the request of the defense.

The murder trial of Ryan Welch was scheduled to start later this month but was pushed back after his lawyer said he had not had sufficient time to review the evidence in the case and in part because there is a lack of “ability to effectively communicate” with his client due to what he called mental illness.

Welch is charged with killing Jessica Ann Pripstein in February 2012. He is being held without bail after pleading not guilty.

An autopsy determined the 39-year-old Pripstein died from a “sharp-force injury” to her neck.

The prosecutors said the delay will not affect how the case is tried.

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