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Change of venue denied for Wright

January 10, 2011

COLUMBIA CITY — The suspected killer of a 14-year-old Whitley County girl will likely not be tried Jan. 25 as scheduled.
In a pre-trial conference Monday morning, Whitley County Circuit Court Judge James Heuer heard motions from Public Defender Brad Voelz, who said he didn’t believe his client, Joshua M. Wright, could get a fair trial in Whitley County.
Voelz requested a change of venue, although he admitted he didn’t think moving the trial to a neighboring county would help, given the high-profile nature of the case.
“All the prerequisites for the court to grant a change of venue are present here in Whitley County,” said Voelz.
“Everyone in the state of Indiana has been exposed to prejudicial news reporting,” said Voelz.
Voelz cited a three-part series in The Post & Mail as the reason for his change of venue request.
On the other side of the courtroom, County Prosecutor Matt Rentschler dismissed Voelz’s claims.
“I don’t find anything in these documents that won’t be brought out in the trial,” said Rentschler.
“They’ve seen nothing in those articles that they won’t hear in the trial.”
Another request was made by Voelz for jurors to be selected from outside the county.
Heuer denied the change of venue request, but said he thought a precedent was set regarding where to draw the jury pool.
Heuer said he had a similar case several years ago involving the same two attorneys and had to go outside the county for jurors when no agreement could be made on a local panel.
One more hurdle exists before a trial can begin. The defense is seeking to call Wright’s mental competence into question.
While Wright has been evaluated locally, Voelz said the defense is seeking input from other “experts.”
Heuer told the attorneys to check schedules and said he hopes to have competency hearing around Jan. 27 or 28.
He added that he was sensitive to family members of the victim who desire justice as quickly as possible in the 10-month-old case.
Wright is accused of raping and killing 14-year-old Kaylin Doggendorf in March of last year.

Comments

Travesty

January 14, 2011 by Just another soldier (not verified), 3 years 40 weeks ago
Comment: 3114

Yet again the justice system cares more for the accused than the victim. The Defense has had almost a full year to get all their tests and requests done. To wait till just WEEKS before the trial of their client smacks of desperation. For a judge to AGREE to postpone trial even a DAY at this point is a miscarriage of JUSTICE! In my opinion, that judge should be thrown off the bench for misconduct. As a former Military Police Officer who has testified in many trials, doing this to the family and friends of the victim is unconscionable. The defense has had PLENTY of time to get their case together. Add to that the fact that ANY psychological evaluation NOW would be tainted and would not tell ANYONE what the mental state of the accused was at the TIME of the original crime. Only what it is now, almost a YEAR later. So, if he is found mentally incapable of standing trial, does that mean he became unstable at the time of the crime or in the time spent as a youth in jail? I have witnessed sane adults go crazy with only a few months in lockup. Do we really think that a 17 year old teen, that MAY have been on the fence before, would not completely go over the edge when locked up this long before a trial?

COMMON SENSE needs to be re-introduced to the Justice system.

But what do I know, I am...

Just another Soldier

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