Trial set in Joseph Ward murder case
Joseph Ward, accused in the June stabbing death of Kenneth Pestana, on Friday, Oct. 20, had his case set for trial on Nov. 28 in Nevada County Superior Court.
Ward, 32, appeared Friday before Judge Candace Heidelberger. He pleaded not guilty to murder, setting the stage for an expected three-week trial starting next month.
Ward’s appearance in court followed a preliminary hearing last week that led a judge to determine enough probable cause existed to advance the case to trial.
At that hearing an officer testified that Pestana, 61, knew Ward for about 20 years and referred to him as a son.
Authorities have accused Ward of killing Pestana on the older man’s property and then fleeing to Nevada. Ward fought extradition, though he was booked in late July into the Nevada County Jail.