Venue: Appeal and Error. A motion for change
of venue is addressed to the discretion of the trial judge,
whose ruling will not be disturbed absent an abuse of
___.A trial court abuses its discretion in denying a motion
to change venue when a defendant establishes that local
conditions and pretrial publicity make it impossible to
secure a fair and impartial jury.
Presumptions: Jurors: Due Process. Adverse
pretrial publicity can create a presumption of prejudice in a
community such that the jurors' claims that they can be
impartial should not be believed. But juror exposure to
information about a defendant's prior convictions or to
news accounts of the crime with which he is charged does not
alone presumptively deprive the defendant of due process.
Presumptions: Jurors. Juror partiality may
be presumed only in situations where the general atmosphere
in the community or courtroom is sufficiently inflammatory.
Venue: Juror Qualifications: Presumptions. A
court will normally not presume unconstitutional juror
partiality because of media coverage unless the record shows
a barrage of inflammatory publicity immediately prior to
trial, amounting to a huge wave of public passion or
resulting in a trial atmosphere utterly corrupted by press
Venue: Due Process. Even the community's
extensive knowledge about a crime or a defendant through
pretrial publicity is insufficient in itself to render a
trial constitutionally unfair when the media coverage
consists of merely factual accounts that do not reflect
animus or hostility toward the defendant.
Venue. Press coverage which is factual in
nature cannot serve as the basis for a change of venue.
Neb.App. 793] 8. Venue: Juror
Qualifications. Under most circumstances, voir dire
examination provides the best opportunity to determine
whether a court should change venue.
Juror Qualifications. The law does not
require that a juror be totally ignorant of the facts and
issues involved; it is sufficient if a juror can lay aside
his or her impression or opinion and render a verdict based
on the evidence presented in court.
Venue: Juries: Proof. A court must evaluate
several factors in determining whether the defendant has met
the burden of showing that pre-trial publicity has made it
impossible to secure a fair trial and impartial jury. These
factors include (1) the nature of the publicity, (2) the
degree to which the publicity has circulated throughout the
community, (3) the degree to which venue could be changed,
(4) the length of time between the dissemination of the
publicity complained of and the date of the trial, (5) the
care exercised and ease encountered in the selection of the
jury, (6) the number of challenges exercised during voir
dire, (7) the severity of the offenses charged, and (8) the
size of the area from which the venire was drawn.
from the District Court for Custer County: Karin L. Noakes,
Stephen Potter for appellant.
Douglas J. Peterson, Attorney General, and Siobhan E. Duffy
Chief Judge, and Riedmann, Judge, and ...