Motion for change of venue in cop beating case denied

August 23, 2011 9:34:03 AM PDT
The Houston police officers charged in the Chad Holley beating case have said they can't get a fair trial in Houston but a judge Tuesday denied their request for a change of venue.

The officers are charged with official oppression for their roles in the violent arrest of Chad Holley, who was 15 at the time, in March 2010. You may remember this controversial video shown first to Houstonians in an Eyewitness News exclusive.

Defense attorneys for the former officers claim they can't get a fair trial in Harris County because that surveillance video of the beating was made public.

During closing arguments, defense attorney Dick DeGuerin said, "The problem with that video is there are explanations for the conduct of those officers, but those explanations have gone by the wayside when a person watches that video."

However, prosecutors are asking for change of venue denied, saying defense lawyers haven't proven their argument about publicity.

"If the defense gets their way and motion is granted, you are saying the residents of Harris County are not to be trusted on juries and that our process is flawed; that even under oath, they are going to lie," said prosecutor Clint Greenwood.

"The fact is that there are a lot of people who don't follow the news," said Assistant District Attorney Kaylynn Williford.

Mayor Annise Parker and Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland both testified Monday that they feel the officers can indeed get a fair trial in Harris County.

The judge is expected to rule sometime Tuesday.

We'll have more on Eyewitness News at 11am.

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