Brittany Navarra is accused of killing her romantic rival, 18-year-old Krista Pike in January of 2008.
This ruling means Brittany Navarra's trial will either be moved out of Madera County, or its possible jurors could be bused in from another county to hear the case.
Brittany Navarra, 18, walked quietly into the courtroom Friday morning for the change of venue hearing. She's accused of murdering 18-year-old Krista Pike 2 1/2 years ago with the help of Dustin Gran, who was 19 at the time.
Prosecutors say Navarra wanted Pike dead because she had romantic feelings for Pike's fiancé. Friday the defense attorney told the judge the case should be moved out of Madera County because widespread media coverage of the case makes it impossible for his client to get a fair trial.
An expert testified she conducted a survey of potential Madera County jurors that found more than half of them admitted they could not be fair based on what they had heard about the murder.
"There has just been so much information dispersed, and basically there is from the studies show that 52 percent of the people surveyed in Madera County said they couldn't be fair and impartial, and I think that right there says it all," Navarra's Attorney Steve Geringer said.
The judge ultimately agreed Navarra cannot get a fair trial from Madera County jurors because of the media coverage and because the victim and both suspects were in high school at the time so word spread quickly through the community.
Krista Pike's parents and other family members walked out of the courtroom clearly disappointed by the decision.
After the judge announced his decision, prosecutors asked him to consider bussing in jurors from a nearby county like Fresno.
The judge said he will look into that option before he makes a final ruling about if and where the trial will be moved in about two weeks.
Meanwhile the case against Dustin Gran has been put on hold because of questions about his sanity and mental competence.