Attorneys Argue for Venue Change in Woody Trial

Attorneys for alleged murderer Brandon Woody sat before Judge Michael Reed Tuesday afternoon in an attempt to change the venue for Woody’s jury trial.
The goal of the change of venue request is to prove that Woody could not receive a fair trial in Kosciusko County due to the citizens’ preconceived biases. Joseph Sobek and Scott Lennox, Woody’s attorneys, argued that because of the extensive amount of press coverage detailing the incident that took place in February, the community has access to information about the case. There have been multiple publications reporting on Woody’s criminal history since the incident, Sobek told the court.
If a potential juror knew about that history, they would have to be excluded from the trial. Lennox and Sobek explained that finding a full jury in this county that did not already have an opinion on the defendant would be too difficult to do. Woody has a right to a fair trial by a jury of his peers, and Lennox advised that that jury would need to come from a different county than Kosciusko.
Sobek claimed that news and social media allow the community to learn about the case and form opinions, which would taint the jury pool. He stated that comment sections on local news sites were full of negative comments towards Woody, which shows the bias in the community.
State prosecutor Daniel Hampton agreed with Lennox, stating that if finding an impartial jury in Kosciusko is not possible, then the change of venue should take place. He then countered, saying that no one has any way to know the position of potential jury members without drawing them and following through with the typical jury process. Hampton said “there’s no way to know until we know.”
Hampton referenced the recent Boston bombing case, where presumably everyone in the country was aware of the incident, yet the case was still held in Boston. He advised that in the same way Woody has a right to a fair trial, the community of Kosciusko County has the right to act as a jury.
Reed has until Jan. 15 to make a decision on the change of venue. The five day trial is currently scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. April 28.

(Story By The Times Union)