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Defense Asks For Change Of Venue In Charles Parker Child Molesting Trial
Updated April 3, 2017 9:29 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(BEDFORD) - The defense for a man facing child molesting charges has asked for a change of venue stating media coverage of the trial could possibly influence jury members.

John M. Plummer Jr., who represents 56-year-old Charles Parker, filed the motion saying his client "is highly unlikely to receive a fair trial in the present county where suit is pending on account of local prejudice or bias regarding defendant and or/his defenses presented."

Parker, of Mitchell, is charged with child molesting, Level 4 felony; child molesting, Class C felony and child solicitation, Class D felony.

In February, Lawrence County Superior Court I Judge Michael Robbins declared a mistrial after the jury in the child molesting trial of Charles Parker failed to reach a verdict. The 12-person jury deliberated for more than 9 hours before informing Judge Robbins they could not reach a decision. The case is set for trial on June 19.

The motion cites five news articles that were published on the front page of the Times-Mail from Feb. 13-17, and that those articles are shared with family members and friends, "and therefore circulation may double or triple," the motion reads. There are also free online websites, such as Bedford Online, WBIW and "News Around the Counties" on Facebook, that posted information about Parker from his arrest throughout his trial. Plummer added that WBIW is a radio station, and 96 percent of its listeners are reached each week and 76 percent are reached daily.

Plummer states that "the stories printed in the newspaper, listed online and announced on the radio contain sensitive information which would sway a jury prior to the actual trial. Information such as testimony, statements and procedure may be misrepresented in said stories and would lead a jury to believe them coming in to trial."

In the case that a change of venue is denied, Plummer is asking for an out-of-county jury. A hearing will be held at 1 p.m. on April 25 in Lawrence Superior Court I with Judge Michael Robbins presiding for the change of venue request.

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