Loughner's Trial Likely to Be Switched to California

Authorities seek calmer venue for flash-point case
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jan 17, 2011 1:40 AM CST
The various personas of suspected gunman Jared Lee Loughner may be headed to San Diego for trial.   (AP Photo/Files)

(Newser) – Federal authorities are planning to move the trial of shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner from Tucson to San Diego to dodge the jury-tainting effects of extensive pre-trial publicity in Arizona. The case is a particular flash point in Arizona, where the state's chief federal judge, John M. Roll, was gunned down in the assassination attempt on Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The venue change is "going to happen; it's just a matter of time," an official told the Washington Post.

Arizona's new chief judge will make the final determination. The change will likely be supported by Loughner's defense team, who also worry about finding in a impartial jury in Arizona. San Diego would likely get the case in part because it's one of the closest judicial districts to Arizona. Loughner's attorney, Judy Clarke, is also based in San Diego.

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