Friday, May 08, 2009

Felner Seeks Change of Venue due in part to "Intense Scrutiny on Local Internet blogs."

Perhaps if he didn't appear quite so ....Guilty

Robert Felner's attorney says his client cannot get a fair trial in Louisville and has asked that the case be moved. The former UofL education dean is accused of misusing grant money and other funds. Former U.S. Attorney David Huber previously described the case against Felner as "airtight."

This from C-J:

Felner's lawyer wants trial moved from Louisville

Media coverage called prejudicial

Felner and a colleague, Thomas Schroeder of Port Byron, Ill., pleaded not guilty in October to federal charges of mail fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and defrauding the Internal Revenue Service. Both are free on bond.

According to a motion filed by his attorney, Scott C. Cox, Felner has been "the subject of an extraordinary amount of prejudicial pretrial publicity within the Louisville jury division." The motion referred to the media coverage as "long-standing, widespread, and inflammatory."

Cox claimed his case was damaged by numerous Courier-Journal articles and editorials, WHAS broadcasts, various radio programs and intense scrutiny on local Internet blogs. So he wants the case moved to Paducah, Bowling Green or Owensboro.

...because the Internet doesn't go there?

Cox also asked the court to sever the trials of Felner and Schroeder.

According to Cox, Schroeder has repeatedly implicated Felner "as the sole wrongdoer" in interviews with law enforcement officials and federal prosecutors. And Felner, he noted, has given a lengthy statement to authorities in which he implicates Schroeder.

Page One has also learned,

Robert Felner’s lawyers filed a motion with the court to use an in-depth jury questionnaire.

Among the questions Cox wants to ask:

Do you hold any strong opinions regarding the University of Louisville or its

Do you blog on the Internet and/or maintain your own personal
webpage or weblog?

Please describe your opinion (if any) of college professors or deans of universities?

Looks like there'll be no jury duty for me.

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