New date set for Justin Love change of venue hearing

Local News

EDITORS NOTE: This story originally reported that Judge Gary Butler would preside over the Change of Venue hearing on the new date. That was incorrect, it is Judge Butler’s courtroom that will be used, however Judge Brotherton will continue on this case.

WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — A hearing that was scheduled for tomorrow, January 7, to determine if a murder trial will be moved out of Wichita County is now reset.

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 will preside in the hearing as he did in Love’s first trial and conviction, which was reversed on appeal.

After Friday’s hearing was postponed, the hearing was reset for January 20.

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: and Love’s attorneys 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.

Love is being held without bond for the murder of Domanic Thrasher in 2015. His trial date is set for June 6.

EDITORS NOTE: This story originally reported that Judge Gary Butler would preside over the Change of Venue hearing on the new date. That was incorrect, it is Judge Butler’s courtroom that will be used, however Judge Brotherton will continue on this case.

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