STILLWATER, Ok. — A judge has rejected several motions in the case of a woman charged with crashing into spectators at the Oklahoma State homecoming parade and killing four.
The Payne County district judge on Tuesday turned down the request by attorneys for 26-year-old Adacia Chambers’ trial to be moved to a different location.
Defense attorneys argued that Chambers couldn’t get a fair trial in Payne County because of pretrial publicity.
Judge Stephen Kistler also rejected other motions, including one to suppress statements made by Chambers, who witnesses said commented about being suicidal following the October 2015 crash.
Other motions denied include one to suppress autopsy photos of victims and to order the families of victims not to show emotion while in court.
That motion was filed in October by Chambers’ attorney, Tony Coleman.
“This case is going to be emotional. There’s no way to take it out, take that out of there. But, I think Mr. Coleman is simply trying to protect Ms. Chambers. He’s the only one she’s got,” said Jacqui Ford, a local attorney. “I don’t think he’s doing it to be offensive to the family members at all but really trying to give Ms. Chambers a fair shot. And, she’s going to need all the help she can get.
The motion asks the court “to instruct the victim’s family not to sit directly before the jury and not to openly show or display any emotion” saying it would “cause the jury to be sympathetic toward the victims’ family and will cause them to relate to the family in such a manner that will be highly prejudicial to Ms. Chambers.”
But, in the state’s response to the motion, they call it “patently offensive to the rights of victims and their families” and said “a rule hiding the victims and their families is unwarranted and unlawful.”
“You don’t want jurors to be unduly biased. You don’t want them to be making decisions on guilt versus innocence based on an emotional response,” Ford said.
Chambers has pleaded not guilty to four counts of second-degree murder and 42 counts of assault and battery.