Cops accused in beating case want change of venue

July 27, 2011 11:35:21 AM PDT
The Houston police officers charged in the Chad Holley beating case say they can't get a fair trial in Houston. They are asking for a change of venue. Three of those former HPD officers accused in the Chad Holley beating showed up to court Wednesday and their lawyers are prepared to fight for a change of venue because they feel their clients won't get a fair trial here in Harris County.

Former Officer Phil Bryan, 45, and 27-year-old Andrew Blomberg, and 41-year-old Raad Hassan, who were suspended indefinitely, sat in the courtroom but did not go before the judge.

With several other considerations, including one accused officer missing today, the judge decided to reset the change of venue hearing. But before that their attorneys sounded off emphatically, telling the judge there is no way their clients can get a fair trial.

Each of them pointed to the surveillance video obtained exclusively by ABC13 Eyewitness News. It shows Chad Holley, 15 years old at the time, being beaten by police.

Holley, convicted of burglary late last year, had been captured and arrested after running from police.

Attorneys for the now fired HPD officers say because the video has gone viral, along with statements from city and state officials condemning the former officers, the attorneys say the trials should be held outside of Harris County.

"Unfortunately, if you see that video, you immediately make conclusions about it," said Dick DeGuerin, attorney for the accused former officers. "There are those involved in the case who against the wishes of two judges made those go public."

The fourth defendant, Officer Drew Reiser, was not on the docket today and was not in court.

Meanwhile, there was a motion to hold separate trials for each of the four officers. The change of venue hearing has been reset for August 22.

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