A Los Angeles County judge today scheduled a hearing for Aug. 26 in the case against University of California, Los Angeles, chemistry professor Patrick Harran. The chemist faces four felony charges of violating the state labor code. The charges stem from the death of research assistant Sheharbano (Sheri) Sangji after a 2008 fire in Harran’s lab.
At the August hearing, the judge will consider arguments on motions that Harran’s attorneys will file before the hearing. In court today, Harran’s attorney, Thomas P. O’Brien, explained that one motion he plans to file is a demurrer motion to dismiss the charges.
O’Brien also said that he plans to ask for a hearing regarding the validity of the original arrest warrant for Harran. Harran’s defense team filed a similar request in July, 2012, that questioned the credibility of a California Division of Occupational Safety & Health investigator who wrote a key report. The defense withdrew that motion when a judge decided to arraign Harran.