Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Change of Venue for Trial?

Both Joseph Kerekes and Harlow Cuadra's attorneys have filed motions requesting a change of venue for the trial. Joe's attorneys did it on January 30th, and Harlow's on May 16th.

"Extensive, inflammatory, sensational" pre-trial publicity in local newspapers and television, Joe's attorneys argue... while Harlow's attorneys say there has been "extensive, inflammatory, sensational and highly inculpatory publicity about this incident and the arrest of Cuadra from the day of the incident to the present”.

With all of this pre-trial publicity going on... what could the dear folks of Luzerne County be thinking of these two? Here's one answer.

Ironically, there was another murder trial in Luzerne County recently that created a much larger media-stir, and that was the trial of Hugo Selenski.

So with all of that said, I spoke with someone that's very familiar with this case and the Selenski case... here's what they had to say:

'A change of venue is the least of immediate concerns. Under PA precedent law (not sure which case) the parties MUST try to get a panel out of an in-county pool before moving it out. Selenski, if I recall correctly, went through 150 potentials without getting a panel. They got close though, like 9 or 10 (off the top of my head) and PPO chose to call in 150 more to finish it and they ended up with a panel of 16 Luzerne County jurors (12 regular and 4 alternates), I think.

So, a call to move it out won't be made until they give it a shot on and after Sept. 2. And if they got 16 from Luzerne County for Selenski, they'll get 16 for these two guys.'

Needless to say... I'd have to agree.