Danton’s change of venue request denied

Thursday, July 1, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 12:03 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — A federal judge has denied a request by St. Louis Blues center Mike Danton to move his murder conspiracy trial away from the St. Louis area.

U.S. District Judge William D. Stiehl ruled Tuesday that extensive media coverage of the case has not been harmful enough to merit a change of venue.

“The court cannot find that these articles and news stories are predominantly inflammatory or prejudicial,” Stiehl wrote. “Indeed, many are sympathetic to the defendant’s situation.”

Stiehl will allow potential jurors to be questioned about how pretrial publicity has affected their views of Danton and co-defendant Katie Wolfmeyer.

Jury selection is expected to begin on Sept. 1 in Danton’s case, with a trial scheduled to begin Sept. 7 in East St. Louis, Ill.

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