Casey White’s defense files motion to move capital murder trial from Lauderdale County
LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - Casey White’s attorneys filed a motion on Friday to move the capital murder trial from Lauderdale County.
White’s attorneys cited various reasons for this request including local and national media coverage during the 11-day manhunt that ended on May 9.
The following excerpt is from the motion:
“1. The Defendant was indicted by a Lauderdale County Grand Jury on or about September 2, 2020 for the charge of Capital Murder.
2. At the time of the Defendant’s indictment, WHNT-TV, WAFF-TV, and WAAY-TV along with newspapers in the area of Lauderdale County, Morgan County, Limestone County, Madison County, Alabama, and other surrounding counties published and circulated articles and stories describing the acts with which the defendant is charged. The stories included significant portions of documentary and hearsay evidence relative to defendant, the admissibility of which has not been considered by this Honorable Court. This information has severely prejudiced the Defendant.
4. Some of the largest news networks in the world covered the story on the whereabouts of Vicky White and the Defendant along with why the Defendant was in the Lauderdale County Detention Center and “facts” this Honorable Court or any juror is yet to hear regarding the Defendant’s Capital Murder case. CNN, Fox News, NBC News, CBS News, ABC News, and others focused reports on Florence, Alabama and the surrounding area. It was one of the most viewed stories in the country trailing only the war in Ukraine for several days. This information has severely prejudiced the Defendant.”
White’s attorneys claim that if the trial occurs in Lauderdale County, “it would violate his (White’s) rights to a fair trial by an impartial jury guaranteed by the Sixth and the Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.”
The defense also claims that social media has contributed to White’s case and background becoming a top trending topic. The motion mentions The Office actor, Rainn Wilson, as one of the many contributing factors to the trending story:
“5. Social media has also generated significant interest in the Defendant’s capital murder case. These include but are not limited to the Defendant’s story, capital murder case and background becoming a top trending topic on social media website Twitter. Celebrities including actor Rainn Wilson, who has more than 4 million followers, shared a CNN story about the Defendant which received – to date – 789 retweets, 132 quoted tweets, and more than 18,500 likes. A Facebook Group called “Vicky White & Casey Cole White-Lauderdale County, AL” has more 50,000 members. Many of those members reside in Lauderdale County, Alabama. The group has dozens of posts daily debating the “facts” of the Defendant’s capital murder case, speculating on theories, and sharing information. This information has severely prejudiced the Defendant.”
The full court document can be read below.
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