RAPE TRIAL TO STAY IN VENTURA COUNTY.Byline: Grace Lee Staff Writer
VENTURA - Despite extensive 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. , convicted Simi Valley Simi Valley (sē`mē, sĭm`ē), city (1990 pop. 100,217), Ventura co., SW Calif. in an oil, fruit, and farm region; laid out 1887, inc. 1969. serial rapist Vincent Sanchez will stand trial in Ventura County on charges of kidnapping and murdering a 20-year-old college student, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Superior Court Judge Ken Riley denied the defense team's request to move the capital murder trial to another county, saying news coverage would not prevent the 32-year-old former handyman from being judged by an impartial jury.
``Although the defense points to many headlines and editorial letters, it is impossible to determine how many of these have been read and have influenced potential jurors,'' Riley said in his ruling.
In addition, he wrote, victim Megan Barroso was not a well-known community figure whose name recognition would warrant 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) .
``She was a young woman leading a quiet, nonpublic life,'' he said.
Chief Public Defender public defender, governmental official who represents indigent persons accused of crime. U.S. Supreme Court decisions expanding the right to counsel to pretrial proceedings and holding that a person cannot be sentenced to even one day in jail unless a lawyer was Neil Quinn said he hoped the judge was correct when he said Sanchez, who has pleaded guilty to raping seven women between 1996 and 2001, can receive a fair trial.
Sanchez already faces life in prison but could be sentenced to the death penalty if convicted of killing Barroso, with special circumstances special circumstances n. in criminal cases, particularly homicides, actions of the accused or the situation under which the crime was committed for which state statutes allow or require imposition of a more severe punishment. of attempted rape and kidnap.
``We hope the court will look more closely at persons with personal connections to see whether they know a witness or a friend of a friend,'' Quinn said.
Barroso, a Moorpark woman, disappeared in July 2001.
Sanchez is accused of fatally shooting her during an attempted rape and abduction Abduction
expecting inheritance, kidnapped by uncle. [Br. Lit.: Kidnapped]
kidnapped at age five; taken from Scotland. [Br. Lit. . His trial is now set for April 7.