Ala. judge denies venue change in DeBlase trial

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MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — A judge in Mobile has denied a request for a change of venue in the upcoming trial of a man charged with murder in the deaths of his two children whose bodies were dumped in the woods of rural Alabama and Mississippi.

AL.com reports (http://bit.ly/15EAeHJ ) Mobile County Circuit Judge Rick Stout on Thursday denied the request made by attorneys for John DeBlase.

DeBlase and his common-law wife, Heather Leavell-Keaton, have been indicted in the 2010 deaths of 4-year-old Natalie and 3-year-old Chase by poisoning, asphyxiation, starvation or dehydration.

DeBlase's attorneys had argued pre-trial publicity has made it impossible to find impartial jurors.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Oct. 21, with opening statements on Oct. 31. Keaton's trial will be separate.

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Information from: Press-Register, http://www.al.com/press-register/



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