Judge: Try to seat Richmond jury in cyclist hit & run case - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Judge: Try to seat Richmond jury in cyclist hit & run case

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Friday, attorneys for the suspect in a deadly hit and run on River Road asked for a change of venue, but right now, they're not getting one.

Essentially the judge wants to wait and see what happens. She believes attorneys need to try and seat an impartial jury of Richmonders in the Elias Webb case before declaring it is impossible to do so.

News cameras once again captured Webb walking into court for a hearing in the case that accuses him of hitting and killing Lanie Kruszewski when he was driving an SUV and then fleeing the scene. As he's done before, he didn't say a word.

Reporters also asked questions of his defense attorneys and Lanie's family, as they walked out of the courthouse.

It is that intense media scrutiny Webb's attorneys say could taint the jury pool. While arguing to move the case out of the City of Richmond, they cited thirty newspaper articles and almost an hour and half of total TV coverage of the accident on River Road and resulting court action.  They say potential jurors may have seen stories on Webb's driving record, which they wouldn't be privy to during trial.

But prosecutors argue in order to grant the motion, the knowledge would only matter if it prohibits jurors from being able to swear an oath they can put aside those thoughts and be impartial.

The Commonwealth maintains the law says the mere presence and volume of coverage is not enough. The defense would have to prove those stories are inaccurate and inflammatory.

The judge said she wants to see what happens when they question potential jurors and will defer a final decision if there are in fact issues on that day.

Friday, defense attorneys also asked for a third day of trial to be added to the calendar. They believe jury selection will take a full day and will be calling 7-8 witnesses in the case. The judge pushed back the date from December to three days in February.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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