WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Defense counsel for a man accused of the brutal killing of 11-year-old Logan Cline in 2019 has requested his capital murder trial be moved to a new location just weeks before it is set to get underway in Wichita County.
Corey Trumbull, 35, of San Angelo, was indicted by a Wichita County Grand Jury for capital murder and tampering with a corpse after Cline’s body was discovered in an abandoned vehicle in Wichita Falls in February 2020.
On Friday, July 14, 2023, the day Cline would be celebrating his fifteenth birthday, Trumbull appeared in the 30th District Court for a scheduled jury pre-trial hearing with just over a month remaining before his capital murder trial is set to begin in Wichita County.
Just one day prior to that scheduled hearing, on Thursday, July 13, Trumbull’s appointed defense attorney William Hull filed a motion to move the capital murder trial out of Wichita County entirely.
In light of that motion, counsel for both the State and the defense agreed to reset Friday’s jury pre-trial hearing to August 4, 2023, in the afternoon. 30th District Court Judge Jeff McKnight said the change of venue motion filed on Thursday will be addressed during that hearing, as will any other pre-trial motions regarding Trumbull’s capital murder trial.
According to the motion, the venue change was requested because “the defendant believes that there exists in Wichita County, Texas so great a prejudice against him that he cannot receive a trial by an impartial jury free from outside influences.”
The motion added that “in all reasonable likelihood a fair and impartial trial cannot ever be obtained on the above matters in Wichita County, Texas due to the notoriety of this case.”
In the motion, the defense argues that the citizens of Wichita County have been “subjected to extensive pretrial publicity” and that “community members are influenced by this publicity and have expressed as such in the comment section.”
According to the motion, the publicity has been “inflammatory and provocative” and has “generated such hostility and emotion towards the defendant and prejudiced community opinions of the case to a degree that it is highly unlikely that a genuinely fair and impartial jury can be impaneled.”
Included in the motion filed by Hull were three separate affidavits signed by three members of the community who commented on stories published by local news outlets and shared to social media websites, including Facebook.
The comments included in the affidavits were all regarding Trumbull. In one comment, an individual implied they wished a slow, painful death upon Trumbull. Another individual said Trumbull should go “straight to death row” in their comment.
In each of the three included affidavits, the individuals claimed they had preconceived notions about Trumbull’s guilt or innocence based on media coverage. They confirmed they posted comments on social media and said they stood by the statements they made just as they did when they posted them.
According to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, a defense motion for a venue change can be granted if “there exists in the county where the prosecution is commenced so great a prejudice against him that he cannot obtain a fair and impartial trial.”
Judge McKnight said at the conclusion of Trumbull’s pre-trial hearing on Friday that the trial date is still set for October 21, 2023.
This is a developing story. Stick with Texoma’s Homepage for updates as more information becomes available. All individuals charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.