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Judge to determine if venue change is necessary for Boulder King Soopers shooting trial

Attorneys for the suspected Boulder King Soopers shooter are requesting the trial be heard in a different county and for the jury selection process to be closed to the public
boulder king soopers march 23 boulder strong
Posted at 1:29 PM, Jun 05, 2024

BOULDER, Colo. — A big decision is now in the hands of a judge: Keep the trial against the accused King Soopers shooter in Boulder, or grant a change of venue.

The matter was discussed Tuesday morning as the suspect's attorneys requested the case to be tried elsewhere.

Defense attorneys for Ahmad Alissa argued that there has been increased publicity of the case that has impacted the ability to gather unbiased juror candidates. The attorneys cited traditional news coverage, word of mouth conversations in the Boulder community, social media and even public memorials and funds set up to help support victims.

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"Why do they want us to forget the 10 people that he murdered? How does that influence somebody's opinion on whether he did it or not? Whether they can be impartial to listen to the evidence, which is overwhelming in this case?" said Robert Olds, the uncle of Rikki Olds who was killed during the shooting. He sat in on Tuesday's hearing. "I think [the trial] should stay in this community, he should be judged by the people in this community."

While Judge Ingrid Bakke dismissed the Defense's motion to sequester the jury during the trial, calling it too drastic and not necessary, she is considering a motion to sequester jurors during jury selection.

The defense argued that no press or public should be allowed inside jury selection to allow jurors to be as open and honest as possible during process. That would include any victims or victim family members.

"Under the Victims Rights Act, the victims have a right to be present for critical stages of all proceedings. And that includes jury selection," said Boulder District Attorney Michael Dougherty.

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Boulder King Soopers Shooting

2:33 PM, Mar 23, 2021

"We hear in court and all throughout this entire process for the last three and a half years, about this guy's rights, about this murderer's rights. What about our loved ones rights? What about the 10 families? Who lost people that day that he murdered? What about their rights?" said Olds.

The judge is expected to issue a written order on her decisions regarding the possible change of venue and the jury selection sequestration.

A decision is expected before Aug. 26, when hundreds of jurors in the Boulder County area will be called in to answer questionnaires to begin jury selection. If a venue change is granted, that will change those plans.

"I'm confident Chief Judge Bakke will carefully consider all of the pending motions and issue decisions when she's had a chance to analyze the motion by the defense and the response by the prosecution as well as the additional argument that we provided today," said Dougherty.

Judge to determine if venue change is necessary for Boulder King Soopers shooting trial