Your questions answered: Change of venue for shooting suspect?
There has been so much publicity on the Aurora theater shooting and emotions are so high, that some people are wondering if the accused gunman, James Holmes, can get an impartial jury in Arapahoe County.
Defense attorney Steve Newell says this case is a good candidate for a change of venue.
“The criteria is if the pretrial publicity is massive, pervasive and prejudicial, and if it is then a court may presume without further documentation that the person may not be able to get an impartial jury,” Newell said.
Attorneys have a few months before they would need to make the request of the court.
The change is not granted often, but it has happened in several other high profile cases in Colorado.
Back in 1993, Nathan Dunlap walked into an Aurora Chuck E Cheese restaurant and opened fire killing four people.
The Arapahoe county case was moved to El Paso County.
In a more recent example, Alex Midyette, a Boulder County man was accused in the death of his infant son.
His case got tons of publicity in Boulder and was moved to Denver.
Newell says prosecutors would likely fight to keep the case in Arapahoe County, and many residents would hope for the same. “I think he should be tried here,” said Doris Mathis. “He could get a fair trial,” she said.
But others admit there could be challenges. “Emotions are so raw, so raw,” said Julia Penland.
- Hickenlooper grants reprieve to death row inmate Nathan Dunlap
- Longmont officer shoots, critically wounds AR15-wielding gunman
- Mom makes bullying daughter wear thrift shop clothes as punishment
- Warning: Video shows Colo. murder suspect Evan Ebel shoot deputy
- I-70 reopens in Glenwood Canyon following fatal crash