Change of venue approved for accused cop killer

Grover Cannon 1-6-16_1548379876204.JPG.jpg

UPDATE: The change of venue motion for the man accused of killing a Shreveport Police Officer was approved late this afternoon.

Grover Cannon is accused of killing Officer Thomas LaValley in 2015.

Lawyers for Cannon requested the change, claiming the shooting death of Officer Chatéri Payne would prejudice a jury against Cannon. 

The day following Payne’s death and three days before Cannon’s trial was scheduled to kick off, Cannon’s defense team paid $5,000 to a Baton Rouge polling company to conduct a poll among Caddo Parish voters (from whom the jury would be taken) to see if they linked the two officers’ deaths.

Prosecutors learned about the poll when a call came into the District Attorney’s office at 10:21 a.m. Saturday. Neither the defense team nor presiding Judge Ramona Emanuel was notified of the poll.

Today, JMC Analytics owner John Couvillion testified about the poll, explaining the poll participants were selected from voter registration lists obtained by the Secretary of State, as well as how questions were formed.

After a recess, both prosecution and defense came back and agreed to the venue change, which Emanuel approved.

The jury will be selected from a parish outside the viewing area of local broadcast media and will be brought back to Caddo Parish.

They will then be sequestered in local hotel until a verdict is reached.  

Cannon will be back in court on Feb. 1 for a hearing on an evidentiary motion.

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