The man accused of murdering his 19-year-old son on Sept. 28 in Avery shuffled into a Calaveras County Superior Courtroom in striped black-and-white prison fatigues for no more than five minutes Friday morning to confirm the date of his preliminary hearing on Oct. 16.
David Bilderback, 47, has been charged with murder and a special allegation enhancement committing a violent felony for the alleged use of a firearm in the murder.
Bilderback pleaded not guilty to the murder charge and denied the special allegation on Monday during his arraignment.
Bilderback is being represented by Leigh Fleming and Steven Krinksy of the Calaveras County Public Defender Office.
Throughout the hearing, Bilderback deferred to Krinksy’s directions and asked him multiple questions about the proceedings.
“He acknowledges that this is a great tragedy and hope with time, patience and understanding of the court process, that at the end of the day, this is not a murder. It is a tragedy,” Krinksy said. “I’m confident that by the end of the day the evidence compiled in court will show that it is not a murder.”
Krinksy said he did not want to comment on the specific nature of the evidence at this time. The criminal complaint filed by the Calaveras County District Attorney’s Office indicates in the special allegation that a shotgun was used in the murder of Dave Bilderback’s son, Cole.
Deputy District Attorney Brad Jones, who is representing the prosecution, confirmed the date of the preliminary hearing and added, “the rules of professional conduct do not permit us to comment on a pending case.”
Bilderback clutched at a collection of documents in his cuffed hands and briefly conferred with Krinsky before taking his seat Friday morning.
Judge Timothy Healy began by advising Bilderback regarding the presence of a victim advocate, who would likely be present in upcoming hearings.
“I don’t believe it will affect in any way my ability to be fair,” Healy said.
Bilderback’s pre-preliminary hearing was scheduled Friday morning to confirm with counsel that each of them would be prepared for the upcoming preliminary hearing. Krinksy said that Bilderback had not waived his right to a speedy trial, and had “wanted the process to move forward.”
Jones said that he anticipated the preliminary hearing would last no more than two hours on Oct. 16.
Krinksy also said to Healy and Jones that he would continue to make discovery requests to the District Attorney’s Office and expected that discovery would be issued to the public defender’s office as it became available.
The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office arrested David Bilderback at his business, Dave’s Pit Stop Auto Shop, in the early morning of Sept. 28 after discovering his son dead at the property.
David Bilderback has been held in the Calaveras County Jail since his arrest. His bail was raised to $3 million dollars from $2 million dollars following the addition of the violent felony enhancement.
Calaveras County Sheriff’s deputies, California Highway Patrol officers and Angels Camp Police all responded to the initial investigation, and in the ensuing hours following David Bilderback’s arrest, Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office investigators were identified outside of the business.
The victim and the suspect both lived at the business, which was closed at the time of the incident.