WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A change of venue hearing was held Thursday morning in the 30th District courtroom for murder defendant Justin Love.
No ruling has been made by 30th District Judge Bob Brotherton as of Thursday, January 20.
Attorneys for Justin Love filed a motion for a change of venue, saying a fair trial is not possible in Wichita County because extensive publicity and coverage of the case would create too great a prejudice against him.
Senior District Judge Robert Brotherton presided in the hearing as he did in Love’s first trial and conviction, which was reversed on appeal.
In the response to the change of venue motion, the district attorney pointed to the fact a jury was seated in Wichita County for Love’s first trial in December 2018, after Judge Brotherton denied a change of venue then too.
Other points made in the response were that Love is not so notorious and known to Wichita County residents that he could not receive a fair trial; there was no difficulty seating a jury for co-defendant Blayne Brooks. Love’s attorneys also did not appeal the verdict of the first trial on grounds the court had been unable to seat a fair and impartial jury.
The District Attorney presented affidavits that while there has been media coverage of Love’s trial and hearings, it was objective and factual and does not create a prejudice against the defendant.
Attorneys on both sides have called witnesses to testify on why they believe a fair trial in Wichita County is possible, or not possible.
Love’s appointed attorneys have filed a motion for the judge to rule on a change of venue on the court’s own motion, which if granted would apparently remove the need for testimony.
Love is being held without bond for the murder of Domanic Thrasher in 2015. His trial date is set for June 6.