Wesson Defense Appeals For Change of Venue

ABC 30 News/November 17, 2004

The attorney for suspect Marcus Wesson hasn't given up on getting the trial moved because of excessive publicity.

Even though he's accused of killing nine of his own children, Marcus Wesson hasn't attracted as much attention as Scott Peterson.

But, as it approaches trial, it's clear the case is far from forgotten and Wesson's attorney hasn't given up on getting the trial moved out of town.

The latest episode of the popular network crime show "Law and Order" featured a story line that could have been inspired by the Marcus Wesson case.

It airs just as Wesson's attorney, Pete Jones, is still fighting to get the case moved out of Fresno. Jones has maintained his client can't get a fair trial here, "I have some concerns and they're going to be on-going concerns, and we'll see how it develops."

Here's how it has developed so far - last September, Judge R.L. Putnam denied Jones' motions to move the trial. This week, Jones appealed that decision to a higher court.

Fresno defense attorney David Mugridge was briefly involved in the Wesson case and doesn't think the change will fly, "I would hazard a guess that you can probably count on one hand, if not on one finger, the number of times in California you've had a court grant that motion. Or, if the motion was denied, the appellate court would reverse on a denial of that motion. It's going to be pretty unusual for that to happen."

As for the case getting a degree of national attention in a TV show, Fresno attorney Ernest Kinney doesn't think it will make much of a difference, "It can, but I don't think it will. If you'll recall, there's already been a movie on the Peterson case, that these jurors for all practical purposes have already seen or heard about. Didn't affect them any.

Same thing here. It's interesting, something you can throw in, but by and large, some national thing on the Wesson case isn't going to affect the judge's decision."

Wesson's trial is set to start January 25th, unless the court of appeals agrees to the defense request to move it.

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