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Not enough press to change venue in attempted murder case

June 04, 2013 | 03:51 PM
ELKHORN — The press coverage in an attempted homicide case hasn't poisoned a potential jury pool enough to justify a change in venue Judge John Race ruled on Friday afternoon.

In addition to the two attempted homicide charges, Larry M. Shannon, 41, of Whitewater, faces nine other felonies and three misdemeanors.

Shannon was arrested in October after he allegedly cut the throats of two children, beat their mother and then fled from police in a car in both Rock and Walworth counties, according to court documents.

During Friday afternoon's hearing, Public Defender Travis Schwantes cited 16 articles that have appeared in several publications, including the Lake Geneva Regional News and the Janesville Gazette.

"An impartial trial can't be held in this county," Schwantes said.

Some of the articles cited in Schwantes motion included articles that appeared on websites for television stations in Rockford and Madison.

However, he argued that because information is so easily available online, potential jurors may have read those articles.

District Attorney Daniel Necci argued that the articles that have appeared in the newspapers haven't been inflammatory.

"They tend to quote the criminal complaint, a public document available to literally (anyone)," he said.

Necci cited previous instances in which judges denied venue changes for cases that had significantly more press coverage than this one case.

Necci also pointed out that only one article had been written about the case in the past five months.

Race said that he didn't believe there had been enough press coverage to affect a potential jury.

"There is no television station that calls Walworth County home and there is no daily newspaper that calls Walworth County home," Race said.

Shannon is next set to appear in court on Wednesday, June 5.


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