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Joplin man denied venue change in shooting

Associated Press - April 20, 2014 8:25 am

A 21-year-old man has pleaded no contest to a murder charge in the 2014 death of a Pittsburg State student.

A judge has denied a change of venue request for a man accused of shooting an assistant football coach to death outside a Joplin movie complex.

The Joplin Globe reportsĀ  that Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied the venue change for 40-year-old Jeffrey Bruner, who’s charged in the Nov. 1 death of 37-year-old Derek Moore. Moore was a newly hired coach at Missouri Southern State University when he was shot to death outside the theater complex.

Bruner is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action, and remains jailed on $1 million bond.

Bruner’s lawyer, Ross Rhoades, claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking the change of venue from Jasper County Circuit Court.

Prosecutors argued that pretrial publicity doesn’t require a change of venue, and the judge agreed.