UPDATE: Richter sentencing hearing continued; next court date set for March 10

UPDATE: Richter sentencing hearing continued; next court date set for March 10
(Source: Tucson News Now)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Tucson couple convicted of imprisoning and abusing three young girls for years will have to wait a few more weeks to find out their fate.

In December 2015, a jury found Sophia and Fernando Richter guilty on three counts of child abuse and kidnapping. Fernando Richter was also found guilty on two counts of aggravated assault.

A sentencing hearing was scheduled for Monday, Feb. 29, but Fernando Richter's attorney said he's not comfortable moving forward and requested a mental health evaluation for his client. Fernando claimed he doesn't remember the trial and isn't sure why he's in court. Sophia Richter said she's ready for sentencing, but changed her mind when told her children would have to go through the hearing twice.

One of the girls spokes exclusive with KOLD News 13's Barbara Grijalva after the judge's decision. You can watch the exclusive video HERE.

Judge Paul Tang ordered Fernando to undergo additional mental health evaluation and the next hearing was scheduled for March 10.

The Richters were accused of holding Sophia's three daughters captive inside their Pinal and Pima county homes in filthy prison-like conditions for up to two years.

MOBILE USERS: The KOLD News 13 mugshots of the month are available HERE.

The girls' great grandmother, Erma Ferris, told KOLD News 13 she's worried about how many years Sophia will get in prison. She said she hopes it's not too long, because she feels the girls need their mother.

Even though the trial may soon be over in Pima County Superior Court, it's not over for the Richters yet.

They still face similar kidnapping and child abuse charges in Pinal County, where they lived before moving to Tucson.

Pinal officials have said their trial will start sometime after the trial in Pima County ends. No word yet on an exact date.

In the Pinal County indictment, Fernando Richter also is accused of child molestation and sexual abuse.

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