Judge denies defense request for substitute judge in Van Dyke case

CHICAGO --A Cook County judge has ruled that the presiding judge in the Jason Van Dyke murder trial will decide on a change of venue request by defense lawyers.

The Chicago police officer is charged with murder, official misconduct and aggravated battery in the October 2014 slaying of Laquan McDonald, 17, who was stealing car radios with a knife when police were called to the scene in Archer Heights. The incident was captured on dashcam, which showed the 17-year-old being shot 16 times.

The defense has not only asked for a change of venue, but they wanted a different judge to handle the motion since Judge Vincent Gaughan has already set a trial date for Sept. 5.

Attorneys for Jason Van Dyke claimed that the publicity surrounding the officer's fatal shooting of McDonald four years ago make a fair trail impossible in Cook County.

After a short hearing Tuesday, Chief Criminal Court Judge LeRoy Martin Jr. ruled that Van Dyke's lawyers had not shown that Gaughan was biased against their request.

Judge Gaughan will decide on a change of venue request in a hearing scheduled for Friday, Aug. 3.

Last week, prosecutors presented results from a poll indicating 45 percent of respondents were either unaware or undecided on the case. While the defense presented their own survey results which found 86 percent of respondents believe Van Dyke is guilty of murder.



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