Trial postponed yet again in meth lab case

Clifford Chew's trial was initially set for summer, but now will face a jury in late February.

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WALLA WALLA -- A man scheduled to stand trial starting today for allegedly operating a large methamphetamine lab at the Walla Walla Vineyard Inn now is slated to face a jury late next month.

The proceedings for Clifford E. Chew, 57, are scheduled to begin Feb. 27 in Walla Walla County Superior Court.

This is the sixth postponement of the trial, initially set to be held in July.

Chew, who remains lodged at the Walla Walla County Jail, is charged with manufacture of methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a school bus route stop, possessing pseudoephedrine with intent to manufacture meth and possession of the controlled substance with intent to deliver.

Police said they recovered many items used to manufacture meth -- in addition to the finished product -- when they served a search warrant May 18 in room 106 of the Vineyard Inn, 325 E. Main St., allegedly occupied by Chew.

The lab reportedly was one of the largest ever discovered in Walla Walla County.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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