Eric Rudolph

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U.S. Attorney Alice Martin calls the delay in Rudolph's trial disappointing. She was reacting to today's ruling delaying Eric Rudolph's trial in a deadly clinic bombing from August until May of next year.

Martin said federal prosecutors were ready to start the trial and said she regrets that the victims and their families have to endure further delay.

Defense lawyer Richard Jaffe was pleased with the decision to postpone the trial.

Besides the defense request for additional time to go through thousands of pieces of evidence, Federal Judge Lynwood Smith said it would be better to hold the trial after lists of potential jurors are updated using voter lists from the November election.

Earlier this week, Smith approved a plan by prosecutors to hold Rudolph's first trial in Birmingham using jurors from throughout north Alabama instead of just the Birmingham area.

Rudolph is charged with setting off a bomb that exploded outside a Birmingham abortion clinic in late January 1998. The explosion killed a police officer and critically injured a nurse.

Rudolph's new trial date is May 24.