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Charles Montaldo

Venue Changed Denied in Jenkins Murder Case

By November 27, 2012

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A motion for a change of venue for one of the defendants charged with the first-degree murder of a popular Vermont teacher has been denied. The attorney for Patricia Prue requested the change due to media coverage of the Melissa Jenkins murder case.

Patricia is being tried separately from her husband, Allen Prue, who planned the crime, according to police.

Marc Eagle, Patricia's attorney, argued that pretrial publicity in St. Johnsbury and Caledonia County made it impossible for his client to get a impartial jury.

Motion Is Premature

Prosecutor Lisa Warren opposed the motion arguing that negative press alone is not enough to change the location of a trial.

"Negative publicity, without a showing of prejudice, is insufficient to require the trial court to change venue," Warren wrote.

In her written ruling, Judge Mary Miles Teachout said Eagle's motion might be premature since jury selection had not begun.

Wanted to 'Get a Girl'

Allen and Patricia Prue are accused of using a story of car trouble to lure Jenkins away from her home, because Allen wanted to "get a girl," he told investigators. A snow plow driver, apparently became infatuated with the attractive teacher and coach after plowing her driveway.

Jenkins was reported missing after a friend found her SUV abandoned with her 2-year-old son safely inside. Her body was found a day later in the Connecticut River where it has been wrapped in a tarp and weighted down with cider blocks.

Jenkins was a science teacher and freshman girls' basketball coach at the prestigious St. Johnsbury Academy. A single mother, she also worked part-time as a waitress at The Creamery Restaurant in nearby Danville.

See Also:
Judge Denies Change of Venue for Jenkins Murder Suspect

Earlier Articles:
Couple Charged in Vermont Teacher's Death
Body of Abducted Teacher Found

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