Judge could decide to move Santa Fe HS shooting trial

SANTA FE, Texas (KTRK) -- Chained at the wrists, waist and ankles, accused Santa Fe High School shooter Dimitrios Pagourtzis walked into his first public courtroom to the sound of cameras and his father weeping.

His father let out a small rush of emotion at the sight of his son and was rocking back and forth in his chair.

A deputy reminded him to keep his emotions in check.

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"This was obviously a tough day for the family," explained defense attorney Nick Poehl. "It's the first time they've seen him on anything other than a video monitor since the day it happened."

Also in court was victim Sarah Salazar, who was shot three times in her left shoulder.

Her mother, speaking with media afterwards, said Salazar wanted to see Pagourtzis in court face-to-face.

"She just wanted to know if he was going to show any remorse, just to see if he felt bad about what he has done," Sonia Lopez said. "We really didn't see him showing much emotion, so we don't know what to think."

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The medical ramifications continue for Salazar, who is now dealing with lead levels in her blood from the bullets that hit her.
"The pellets that were left inside of her are steadily releasing lead into her system," Lopez said.

Salazar is on medication to try to reduce the lead levels while doctors are looking to remove the bullets.

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Today's hearing was to determine a change of venue, requested by defense, citing hundreds of social media comments on local news articles, giving them a window into how the potential jury pool feels.

"It gives us something we can point to and say, 'See, the community feels this way because there's 1,100 comments on one story and 98% of them have already judged him guilty,'" Poehl said.

The district attorney's office did not provide any comments on camera, but in court gave the judge several letters from local mayors, and said through the process of voir dire, they could find a fair and impartial jury in Galveston County.

Galveston County District Judge John Ellisor said he would make a decision on the change of venue request by the end of the week.

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