Two charged with killing sheriff ask for change of venue

Saturday, October 23rd 2004, 3:51 pm
By: News On 6

PAWNEE, Okla. (AP) _ The two men accused of killing the Pawnee County sheriff more than three years ago say they can't get a fair trial in the county and want their murder trials moved.

James C. Taylor, 37, and Justin Lee Walker, 36, are charged with first-degree murder in the Oct. 13, 2001, death of Sheriff Dwight Woodrell Jr.

Attorneys for the two said in a change of trial motion that widespread publicity made it impossible for them to receive a fair trial in Pawnee County. Other defense motions asked the trial judge to quash the order holding the defendants for trial, claiming insufficient and conflicting evidence.

Taylor and Walker are accused of shooting Woodrell, 36, to death as the sheriff investigated suspicious activity at Spess Drilling Co. west of Cleveland.

The two defendants were arrested and charged in February with first-degree murder and the state is seeking the death penalty.