Judge Denies Defense's Request For Change Of Venue In Child Sex Ring Case - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

07/01/08 - Tyler

Judge Denies Defense's Request For Change Of Venue In Child Sex Ring Case

Defense attorney Thad Davidson after his motion for venue change was denied Tuesday morning. Defense attorney Thad Davidson after his motion for venue change was denied Tuesday morning.

A change of venue hearing has been denied Tuesday morning for the third defendant in the Mineola sex ring case, after a judge denied the claims of the defense that too much pre-trial publicity could taint the Smith County jury pool.

Judge Jack Skeen today said that the change of venue motion filed by the defense was "without merit", and that "The evidence in this hearing does not show, does not prove, that the defendant cannot get a fair and impartial trial in Smith County."

In the denial, Judge Skeen also wrote that, "The published articles in the newspaper and television reports have absolutely not been biased or prejudiced against this defendant."

On Monday, Judge Jack Skeen granted Patrick "Booger Red" Kelly's defense team more time to prepare its case, though it cut the amount of time the defense requested for continuance from 90 days to a mere 14.

This schedules "Booger Red" Kelly's trial to begin in a Smith County court on July 14th, though the court could still decide to move the trial outside of Smith County during jury selection if too many jurors are shown to have bias during voi dire, the process of examining potential jurors to select a fair and impartial jury.

"Booger Red" Kelly is accused of organized criminal activity, destroying evidence in the case, and sexual assault of a child in connection with forcing children, including siblings, to have sex with each other for the profit of him and other adults charged in this case.

Cathryn Khalil / ckhalil@kltv.com

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