A judge has set a deadline for forensic testing to be completed on evidence collected in a deadly stabbing.
Warren Circuit Judge John Grise entered an order Monday compelling analysts at the Kentucky State Police Crime Lab to complete testing of evidence in the case against Mach Sar by Aug. 1.
Sar, 36, of Elkhart, Ind., is charged with murder and tampering with physical evidence in the death of Somrhut Phan, 29, who was stabbed Jan. 30, 2020, at his residence in Wheel Mobile Home Park.
Grise’s order said a jury trial for Sar is set for Sept. 14, and the forensic testing of evidence is necessary to go forward.
Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Cohron had sought an order from the judge that imposed a deadline for testing evidence in the case.
In a Warren Circuit Court hearing in February, Cohron said a number of items taken from the trailer where Phan died awaited testing.
“We’re looking at 12 to 15 months for lab (analysis) completions absent an order to compel,” Cohron said at the hearing.
The homicide was investigated by the Bowling Green Police Department, which was called to Phan’s trailer early Jan. 30, 2020.
Police found Phan on the kitchen floor bleeding severely and learned he had been stabbed multiple times.
Witnesses identified Sar as a suspect, BGPD Detective Mike Nade testified at a preliminary hearing last year.
Nade said at the hearing that Sar had been staying at the trailer, where a cousin lived.
Police learned of an apparent financial motive, with Nade testifying that police believed Phan had taken either some money from Sar or a picture of his debit card.
A witness reported to police that she woke up in the trailer to sounds of an argument and saw Sar on top of Phan attacking him.
Sar reportedly told another witness that he stabbed Phan about 30 times and was aiming for his heart, Nade testified.
Police recovered a kitchen knife about 10 yards from the trailer.
Sar was located in Indiana later that day and made a statement to police there that a masked intruder had attacked Phan, Nade said.
Sar remains in the Warren County Regional Jail under a $500,000 cash bond.
– Follow courts reporter Justin Story on Twitter @jstorydailynews or visit bgdailynews.com.