Change of venue granted for man charged in Bentley slaying

Monday, December 1, 2008 | 6:11 p.m. CST; updated 11:52 a.m. CST, Tuesday, November 3, 2009

COLUMBIA — One of five men charged in the shooting death of a Columbia man this summer was granted a change of venue Monday in Boone County Circuit Court.

Michael Jaco, who was 17 at the time of the incident, has been charged with second-degree murder, first-degree robbery and armed criminal action in connection with the June slaying of Nathaniel Bentley, 22.

Judge Kevin Crane granted Jaco's request to bring a jury to Columbia from outside the county due to the amount of media coverage of the case.

On June 10, Bentley was fatally shot in the head after five men entered his Bearfield duplex in south Columbia around midnight and demanded money and property, Columbia police said.

Crane instructed the prosecutor and the defendant to find a county that would be acceptable to both sides. If no agreement can be reached, each side will submit a list of five potential counties to the court by Dec. 5. The court will then make the final decision.

Jaco's jury trial, which was originally scheduled for Dec. 11, has been continued, but no new date has been set.

Malcolm A. Washington, 26, is also facing murder charges in the Bentley shooting and appeared before the court Monday. His trial was continued, but a new date hasn't been set.

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