Judge Denies Change Of Venue For Deblase

Judge Denies Change Of Venue For Deblase

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Mobile, AL -

John Deblase entered court the same way we've seen him for the last three years--in shackles wearing a Mobile County Jail Uniform.  He's going on trial for the deaths of his two children Natalie and Chase Deblase.  judge Rick Stout said he wasn't satisfied that, in his words, presumptive prejudice has been met.  For that reason he denied the motion for change of venue.

District attorney Ashley Rich says they can get an impartial jury through extensive individual questioning--what's known as voir dire.  Earlier this year a re-trial was ordered in another high profile murder case.  Lam Luong was granted a retrial for killing his four children on the grounds he couldn't have gotten a fair jury in Mobile County and a change of venue was not granted.  Rich says the Deblase case will be different because of the jury screening.

“Because in the Lam Luong case they did not do individual voir dire and we're going to do individual voir dire in this case and I think that's the difference, individual length voir dire for each jury member will take place,” says Rich.  The defense also asked for a gag order but that was also denied. 

Jury selection is slated to begin October 21st with opening arguments set for the 31st.  That's more than a weeks' time to pick a jury.  Rich says the jury pool will have a long screening process.

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