DEFENDANT IN MODEL'S DEATH TO BE TRIED IN L.A. COUNTY.Byline: Associated Press
A free-lance photographer charged in the killing of a former Raiders cheerleader and model must face trial in Los Angeles County, a Superior Court judge decided Friday.
Judge Donald Pitts set Sept. 9 as a trial date for Charles Rathbun, 38, the photographer accused in the slaying of Linda Sobek.
Rathbun has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and sexual assault.
Pitts refused to dismiss the murder charge against Rathbun, but was still weighing whether to throw out evidence against the defendant.
Evidence the defense wants suppressed includes coroner's testimony and information about the discovery of the body Nov. 25. Rathbun led investigators to her body, which was buried in a shallow grave in a remote area of the Angeles National Forest The Angeles National Forest (ANF) was established by executive order on December 20, 1892 as the San Gabriel Timberland Reserve. It covers over 2,600 km² (650,000 acres) and is located in the San Gabriel Mountains of Los Angeles County, just north of the metropolitan area of Los .
Sobek went out on what she believed to be a modeling assignment with Rathbun and was never seen alive again.
Rathbun has told authorities he killed Sobek during a photo shoot by accidentally running her over with a sport utility vehicle. Authorities have presented evidence that Sobek was asphyxiated as·phyx·i·ate
v. as·phyx·i·at·ed, as·phyx·i·at·ing, as·phyx·i·ates
To cause asphyxia in; smother.
To undergo asphyxia; suffocate. , that her legs were tied and that she was raped with a foreign object.
The photographer was arrested after an apparent botched botch
tr.v. botched, botch·ing, botch·es
1. To ruin through clumsiness.
2. To make or perform clumsily; bungle.
3. To repair or mend clumsily.
1. suicide that occurred amid a countywide search for Sobek.
In arguing for a change of venue A change of venue is the legal term for moving a trial to a new location. In high-profile matters, a change of venue may occur to move a jury trial away from a location where a fair and impartial jury may not be possible due to widespread publicity about a crime and/or defendant(s) , defense attorney Mark Werksman said massive pretrial publicity The right of a criminal defendant to receive a fair trial is guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The right of the press (print and electronic media) to publish information about the defendant and the alleged criminal acts is guaranteed by the First Amendment. may have persuaded potential jurors that Rathbun is ``some kind of sexual predator, some kind of serial killer serial killer Forensic psychiatry A person who commits serial murders Prototypic SK White ♂ age 30; 97% are ♂; 80% are sociopaths. See Dahmer, Depraved heart murder, Ice Man. Cf Megan's law, Son of Sam law. .''
Deputy District Attorney Steve Kay countered that Los Angeles County has a population of 9.3 million people and that jurors in high-profile cases like the O.J. Simpson trial and the Menendez brothers murder trial returned verdicts that favored the defense.