Judge denies change of venue for three ex-HPD officers accused in Chad Holley beating case

July 20, 2012 3:51:35 PM PDT
The trials of three former Houston police officers charged in the videotaped beating of a teenage burglary suspect will be held in Harris County. The officers had asked for the trials to be moved.

Judge Ruben Guerrero said he won't move the trial since in his view of the law, he would have to move it to an adjoining county and that wouldn't eliminate jurors who'd seen news coverage of Chad Holley's arrest.

The accused former officers say press coverage of the videotaped arrest is so inflammatory potential jurors won't be fair. Those lawyers say that after Andrew Blomberg was found not guilty this summer Houston Mayor Annise Parker inflamed the situation even further when she said she doesn't agree with the verdict.

Defense lawyers remain concerned they may not be able to find even six impartial jurors.

"It is not the number, it's the unknown. It's what people tell you in voir dire," said attorney Aaron Suder. "And you don't always know what people are thinking, if they have an agenda to get on the jury."

Former HPD Officer Raad Hassan will go to trial on January 28 in Harris County.

According to three lawyers I spoke with, the judge's reading of the law that he has to move it to an adjoining county may not be accurate, but it is his ruling and it stands.


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