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Trial of Messianic Rabbi Continued—Again

The trial has been delayed over at least a dozen times over the past three years

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The jury trial of Isaac David Heckman has been continued at least a dozen times, according to the Washington online case search portal.

Charges for second and fourth degree assault in a domestic violence case were brought against the messianic rabbi in Chelan County, Washington, in March 2021.

Now almost three years later, he still hasn’t been tried.

According to court records obtained by MinistryWatch, in November 2023 the court “noted the age of the case and warned that another continuance may not be granted.”

However, in January and again in February, the court continued the jury trial. It is now set for June 24, 2024.

The last continuance granted about a week before the scheduled March 4 trial was requested by the state, who said a material witness — the alleged victim — was not available.

The court inquired about the alleged victim’s lack of availability and inquired if the issue could be resolved by “someone watching the alleged victim’s dogs.”

In January, the trial was continued because an officer was unavailable. In September, the continuance was granted because witnesses needed to be interviewed.

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MinistryWatch reached out to the Chelan County prosecutor’s office multiple times, inquiring about the delays but received no reply.

Nicholas Yedinak is listed as the defense attorney retained by Heckman. According to his firm biography, Yedinak “frequently serves as Chelan County District Court Judge Pro Tem and has served as Special Prosecutor for the City of Wenatchee.” He did not reply to a request for comment before the time of publication.

According to the church’s website, Heckman is the full-time Torah teacher and senior pastor of the Assembly of Called Out Believers in Wenatchee, Washington.

The alleged victim, Maria Brunetto, was in a “dating relationship” and considered an “intimate partner” with Heckman, according to the original probable cause affidavit. She said there were many instances of violence, but according to the affidavit, she specifically mentioned one on December 21, 2020, during a car ride home from visiting Heckman’s sister in which Heckman punched her, pulled her hair, and threatened to leave her behind along the road.

She also reported an incident in January 2021 in which Heckman threatened her with a firearm, leaving her afraid for her life. Later in January, she claimed he assaulted her again, “banged her head on the ground,” and “put his foot on her face.”

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Kim Roberts

Kim Roberts is a freelance writer who holds a Juris Doctorate from Baylor University. She has home schooled her three children and is happily married to her husband of 25 years.