A trial for a man accused of firing the shot that killed a Salina teen back in May will not be moved to a different location.
Wednesday afternoon in Saline County District Court Judge Renee Young denied a change of venue motion for 22-year-old Macio Palacio.
Palacio is one of five people accused in the shooting death of 17-year-old Allie Saum. He is accused of being the person who fired several shots from a handgun, including one that fatally struck the Salina South High School Student.
The defense had argued that publicity in the case including on the radio, on television, in the newspaper, and online makes it impossible to find a jury in Saline County that has not heard details surrounding it. Attorneys also pointed out at least a dozen messages which appeared around Salina, most on business signs and marquees, offering condolences to the the family.
In issuing her ruling to deny the change of venue, Judge Young cited several reasons. She agreed that there has been extensive media coverage, but in reviewing what was submitted by the defense she said that the coverage has been fact based, and not inflammatory. The Judge determined that Palacio would receive a fair and impartial trial in Saline County.
The defense on Wednesday also requested that Palacio continue to be held in the Saline County Jail for logistical reasons, rather then be transferred into custody of the Kansas Department of Corrections to begin serving time for a previous unrelated drug conviction. The Saline trail is scheduled for May.
Allie Saum was shot and killed on May 6th in what prosecutors allege was a case of mistaken identity. During a preliminary hearing they presented evidence showing that the shooting was prompted by a fight earlier in the evening. A group of people went out to seek revenge. One of them mistakenly identified a pickup that was driving by as being involved in the fight. Shots were fired at the truck as it drove eastbound in the 500 block of Russell. Saum was a passenger in the truck, and was hit in the head.
The defendants in the case include:
- 22-year-old Macio Palacio
- 19-year-old Jerome Forbes
- 19-year-old Daniel Sims
- 18-year-old Stephen Gentry
- 17-year-old Andrew Woodring
All five will face the same charges at trial, which include:
- 1st degree murder
- attempted 1st degree murder
- shooting at an occupied vehicle
- conspiracy to commit aggravated battery
Additionally, Woodring faces an obstruction charge.
Each trial will be held separately.
A sixth defendant is also accused in the case, 21-year-old Azucena Garcia-Ferniza. She is facing an obstruction charge, accused of trying to hide the gun that was used in the shooting.
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