Mt Pleasant News

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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 16, 2018

Henry County won’t have a murder trial

Oct 20, 2017

By Brooks Taylor, Mt. Pleasant News


Henry County will not be hosting a first-degree murder trial next week.

In a ruling issued Thursday, District Court Judge Mary Ann Brown approved a defense request to move the murder trial of Jorge “Lumni” Sanders-Galvez from Henry County District Court to South Lee District Court in Keokuk.

The ruling marks the second time in six months that the trial has been moved. Sanders-Galvez is one of two men accused of the murder of Kedarie Johnson, a Burlington High School student. Johnson was found shot to death on March 2, 2016, in an alley behind a residence in Burlington.

Consequently, the trial originally was scheduled in Des Moines County. Defense attorney Curtis Dial of Keokuk, however, filed a motion for a change of venue, citing his client could not receive a fair trial due to pre-trial publicity.

Dial asked for and received a change of venue to Henry County. However, earlier this month Dial filed another motion, asking that the trial be moved from Henry County. The defense attorney said the list of prospective jurors he was given included few minorities.

Sanders-Galvez is both African-American and Hispanic.

In his filing for a change of venue, Dial asked that the trial be moved to another county, preferably South Lee County because it is the only county in the Eighth Judicial District which potentially could have a juror panel in which the number of minorities are consistent with the population.

Jury selection in the Sanders-Galvez trial begins at 8:30 Tuesday in Keokuk.

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