PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Multnomah County judge has denied a request to change the venue for Jeremy Christian’s trial.
The trial is currently scheduled to begin in late June. Christian is accused of stabbing 3 men and killing 2 of them on a MAX train in May 2017.
Christian’s attorneys were concerned about the pre-trial publicity and the details about the case they claim would be inadmissible at trial. They said they’ve seen specific video on TV that portrays the victims as heroes, and that, they maintain, affects a jury pool.
According to court documents obtained by KOIN 6 News, the court agreed that the publicity could result in dislike of the accused and the coverage has been widespread due to the nature of online news.
“Anyone who has ever ridden a MAX train and who knows of the story has, to one degree or another, a personal connection with the attack,” court documents said. “Any juror who lives close to or east of the Hollywood station and uses the light rail to get downtown would presumably view or pass the landmark on the way to the trail every day of the case.”
Despite that, documents say the adverse publicity of the case alone doesn’t require a change of venue.
The court said it will be imperative to carefully vet potential jurors to find a fair jury in Multnomah County. The court said it will start jury selection, or voir dire, and then determine whether the jury pool is too prejudice. If that’s the case, the defense could raise the motion to change the venue again.
Read the judge’s decision: