Ramadan Abdullah Trial Remains in Fresno County

September 8, 2008 8:40:47 PM PDT
Ramadan Abdullah's defense team has dropped its effort to move the notorious case to another part of the state.Ramadan Abdullah's defense team has dropped its effort to move the notorious case to another part of the state.

Monday morning in court, Abdullah stared blankly as his attorneys announced a major development: the trial against Abdullah will remain in Fresno County. Abdullah's Defense Attorney Pete Jones said, "You look at the circumstances surround it. You do your research and you make a decision and this is a decision we feel is appropriate in this case at this time."

Abdullah faces the death penalty, accused of killing Fresno County Sheriff's Deputy Erik Telen in 2001. Abdullah's first trial ended earlier this year with a hung jury. Jones feared his client couldn't get a fair trial because of intense media attention, but Jones said his research showed otherwise.

Convicted murderer Larissa Schuster also received intense media coverage, and her trial was moved out of town. ABC 30 Legal Analyst Tony Capozzi said both cases may be widely known but are very different to potential jurors. Capozzi said, "The schuster case clearly was a sensational case something that was bizarre. Something that really has never happened before, cutting up a body putting it in a barrel of acid ... In the Abdullah case without trying to minimize it ... It is a shooting of a police officer." Officer shootings Capozzi said don't stay on people's minds.

Abdullah's jury selection is expected to start in October. At that time, the defense could once again reverse course. Capozzi said, "If a large portion of these jurors indicate that they've seen pretrial publicity and they can't be fair and impartial then ... I'm sure the defense will make a motion to move it to a new county."

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