NEVADA – Lawyers in HOA scheme request trial be moved from Las Vegas
Lawyers for defendants charged in the scheme to take over Las Vegas-area homeowners associations want the high-profile Feb. 23 trial moved out of Las Vegas.
In federal court papers filed late Thursday, lawyers for Las Vegas attorney Keith Gregory said he can’t get a fair trial because of the mass of ongoing “prejudicial” media coverage of the case, primarily from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“The decibel level and tenor of the pretrial publicity which has surrounded this case has been vivid, unforgettable and blatantly prejudicial to the point that it is for all intents and purposes impossible for defendant Keith Gregory and the other defendants to obtain a fair trial in Clark County, Nevada,” wrote Salt Lake City lawyer Rodney Snow.
“Newspaper articles and media pieces have made an unrelenting point of condemning and preordaining a conviction. This is an extreme case which, through a battery of repetition and recrimination, the public has become poisoned against the defendants’ Sixth Amendment rights.”
The move for a change of venue comes as the lawyer for Leon Benzer, the former construction company boss accused of masterminding the HOA takeover scheme, filed court papers late Thursday to stop the Review-Journal from publishing a story on secret talks Benzer held with prosecutors in 2011 to strike a plea deal in the long-running federal investigation. Read more: