Accused perpetrator of 10/27 attack asks for change of venue
search
10/27 shootingCase update

Accused perpetrator of 10/27 attack asks for change of venue

In their motion, attorneys for the defendant claim that because of extensive publicity in Pittsburgh, he would not receive a “fair and impartial trial” here.

The Tree of Life building after the massacre of Oct. 27, 2018.  (Photo by Adam Reinherz)
The Tree of Life building after the massacre of Oct. 27, 2018. (Photo by Adam Reinherz)

The man accused of murdering 11 Jews in the Tree of Life building on Oct. 27, 2018, filed a motion on Jan. 17, seeking to move his trial from the Western District of Pennsylvania to another venue. In their motion, attorneys for the defendant claim that because of extensive publicity in Pittsburgh, he would not receive a “fair and impartial trial” here.

The U.S. Attorney’s office is seeking the death penalty.

“The historical nature of the shooting, purportedly the deadliest attack on Jews in United States history, is repeatedly mentioned,” in local media coverage, according to the defendant’s motion. The pretrial publicity “incorporates emotional language, prejudicial details, victim impact statements — some of whom had survived the Holocaust — and stories about law enforcement officers who were injured at the scene.”

The defendant’s motion further argues that “[o]verall, the local coverage of the shootings portrays [the defendant] in a prejudicial light, linking him to Alt-Right, Neo-Nazi, and conspiracy-minded groups. In contrast, the sympathetic stories of the deceased and surviving victims, as well as their long-standing and deep connections to the Pittsburgh community, are prominent in the publicity. While publicity may surround the case wherever it is tried, the impact on potential jurors in the Western District of Pennsylvania will be significantly greater, as demonstrated by the community’s reaction to the shootings, including the commemorations and memorials.”

Prosecuting attorneys have not yet filed a response to the defendant’s motion to change venue. They have argued in previous briefs that the defendant is unnecessarily delaying the proceedings. PJC

Toby Tabachnick

read more:
comments