NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – A Colorado pilot accused of flying drugs into Wings Field in Blue Bell in his private single engine Piper (see related story) is asking a judge to move his trial out of Montgomery County claiming the pre-trial publicity will make it hard for him to get an impartial jury.
Defense attorney Douglas Earl says his client James Handzus can’t get a fair trial because the publicity is implanted in people’s minds. Earl contends District Attorney Risa Ferman at a news conference announcing the 51-year-old man’s arrest in April made statements asserting Handzus was guilty.
But prosecutor Kevin Steele argued that moving the trial out of Montgomery County at this point would be premature. He says the jury panel would first have to be questioned about how much they know about the case. He believes the publicity has dissipated since the arrest.
Handzus and his girlfriend Tamara Vincent, both of Rifle, Colorado, face drug trafficking charges for allegedly flying methamphetamine into the county and then trying to sell it to an undercover cop. Both remain behind bars.
Reported by Suburban Bureau Chief Brad Segall, KYW Newsradio 1060