COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Extensive publicity about the December police killing of Andre Hill makes it impossible to convene a fair jury locally and so the trial should be moved, an attorney representing Adam Coy, the ex-Columbus officer charged in Hill’s death, said in a court filing.
That publicity includes news coverage, posts on social media and billboards in Columbus calling for justice for Hill, said attorney Mark Collins.
“Compiling an impartial jury in Franklin County would be impossible because potential jurors are not only exposed to the extensive news coverage but also to their fellow neighbors’ opinions,” Collins said in a filing late last month.
Hill, 47, who was Black, was fatally shot by Coy, who is white, on Dec. 22 as Hill emerged from a garage holding up a cellphone. Coy was fired and has pleaded not guilty to murder and reckless homicide charges. His trial is currently scheduled for July 21.
A message was left with the Franklin County Prosecutor’s office seeking comment on the request to move the trial.
The shooting was recorded by Coy’s body camera, but without sound because Coy hadn’t activated the camera on what started as a nonemergency call. A 60-second look-back function on the camera captured the shooting.
Coy, who had a long history of complaints from citizens, was fired Dec. 28 for failing to activate his body camera and for not providing medical aid to Hill. He was initially charged for dereliction of duty for not activating the camera, but those charges were dropped.
Beyond an internal police investigation, the Ohio attorney general, the U.S. attorney for central Ohio and the FBI have begun their own probes into the shooting.
In May, the city reached a $10 million settlement with the family of Hill, the largest in Columbus history.