Judge Rejects Defense Motions in Holt Murder Case | Crime
A judge says the trial of murder suspect Russell Holt will take place in Houston County after all.
Judge Tilman Self on Friday ruled on two motions filed by Holt's lawyer and rejected both.
Holt is accused of shooting and killing his girlfriend, Jessica Wolf, to death last year.
Self also declined to throw out videotaped statements that Holt made to himself during an interrogation on March 18, 2012.
Holt's lawyer, Franklin Hogue, argued that Holt had asked 14 times to have a lawyer present, but investigators continued to question him anyway.
Generally, police must stop questioning a witness if they ask to have a lawyer present, and any statements they make after that may not be used during a trial.
According to Self's ruling, prosecutors have agreed not to use any statements that Holt made to investigators after he asked for a lawyer. But they can use statements that he "mumbled" to himself after police left the room.
Self ruled that using the statements would not violate his Fifth Amendment protection against incriminating himself.
He wrote that Holt made those statements on his own, without officers present. The suspect also had no reasonable expectation of privacy" in the interrogation room, Self wrote.
In the other motion, Hogue argued that the trial should be moved due to pretrial publicity and because the suspect and the victim worked in the Houston County courthouse.
Holt is a former probation officer and Wolf worked for the Houston District Attorney's office.
But Self wrote that potential jurors are unlikely to be prejudiced by either factor.
Holt's trial is scheduled to begin April 29.