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Attorneys request change of venue for defendant in homicide case
Nov 9, 2012 - By Christina George, Staff Writer
Public defenders said they want to ensure Laziur Hanway receives a fair and impartial trial.
Attorneys representing one of five suspects in the Hudson double-homicide case filed a motion to change venue, claiming the defendant could not get a fair and impartial trial in Fremont County given the "great prejudice" against him.
"There has been a great deal of pre-trial publicity regarding this case in Fremont County, Wyoming," the motion stated.
Public defenders David L. Serelson and Elizabeth B. Lance, both of Cheyenne, filed the motion last month in the 9th District Court on behalf of their client, Laziur Stephen Hanway Jr., 20, of Ethete.
Hanway faces several charges in connection with the Nov. 15, 2011, killings of Eric Clinton Likes, 42, and Elva Charlotte Quiver, 20, at Likes's trailer house in Hudson. Hanway is also charged with the alleged subsequent robbery and arson at the residence.
According to the motion, Hanway's attorneys believe much of the media attention surrounding the case has been "prejudicial and inflammatory."
"Such articles have poisoned the pool in Fremont County and made it difficult if not impossible to obtain a jury comprised of people who do not have a
preconceived opinion that Mr. Hanway Jr. is guilty of the charges, and who cannot set aside those opinions," the motion read.
At an August preliminary hearing, Hanway pleaded not guilty to four first-degree murder charges, two counts each of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, aggravated robbery and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, and a single arson charge.
Trial is set for January.
Hanway is one of several suspects charged with the crimes, which his attorneys argue also affects his case.
"The nature and extent of publicity generated by the matter at hand is simply overwhelming," the motion stated. "There are a total of five co-defendants in this case, and every time there is press coverage on one of them it affects Mr. Hanway Jr.'s case."
This is the first change of venue motion filed by a defendant in the case. A hearing for the court to render a decision about the request has not been set.