No Venue Change for Trial of Homecoming Deaths

TULSA, Okla. (CN) — An Oklahoma state judge Wednesday denied a request to move the trial of the woman accused of killing four people with her car at Oklahoma State University’s homecoming parade last year, paving the way for trial.

Associate District Judge Stephen Kistler denied a defense motion to move the trial of 26-year-old Adacia Avery Chambers out of Payne County.

She has pleaded not guilty to four counts of second-degree murder and 42 counts of assault and battery by means of force likely to produce death.

Her attorney Tony Coleman, of Oklahoma City, filed the motion two months ago. He told a judge Wednesday that police created a “media frenzy” by holding press conferences after Chambers’ arrest and saying she was intoxicated at the time of the crash.

Coleman argued in his motion that “widespread pretrial medial publicity” and “community support and identifications with the victims” would make it impossible for Chambers to get a fair trial in Payne County.

In rejecting the motion, Kistler said that Payne County is “much more than OSU, much more than Stillwater.”

He rejected the motion despite several community members’ testifying in favor of a venue change.

Stillwater resident and former state Sen. Ed Long told the court he did not know “anybody who doesn’t believe” Chambers is guilty,” the Tulsa World newspaper reported.

Kistler also heard testimony on whether Chambers’ statements immediately after the crash should be admissible.

Chambers allegedly “admitted to having a history of suicidal attempts” when she was booked, and said “she was suicidal at the time of the incident but not at the time of booking,” according to an affidavit.

Kistler ruled that the statements are admissible, that Chambers voluntarily made the statements to officers, that they were not part of a custodial interrogation.

Chambers’ trial is scheduled to begin on Jan. 10. She is in county jail pending trial.

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