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Trial in 1993 Mandy Steingasser killing delayed until July 1

Jury selection is scheduled to begin July 1 for the trial of Joseph H. Belstadt, the Town of Tonawanda man charged in the 1993 strangulation murder of Mandy Steingasser, 17, of North Tonawanda. The trial is estimated to last four weeks.

Friday, Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon rescheduled the trial, which had been set for Jan. 28, in the wake of litigation over whether Belstadt's lawyers should be removed from the case because of alleged conflicts of interest. Sheldon ruled the lawyers could remain on the case.

The conflict issue also delayed hearings on the admissibility of Belstadt's 25 years of police statements, evidence seized from his home and car without a search warrant in 1993 and testimony from at least three jailhouse informants. The hearings will be held in early February.

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