Portsmouth police officer’s attorney asks for trial change

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The attorney for former Portsmouth Police Officer Stephen Rankin says his client cannot get a fair trial in Portsmouth.

Attorney James Broccoletti  filed a motion and is  asking for a change of venue for the trial. Rankin is accused of first degree murder in the April shooting death of William Chapman, who was unarmed in the WalMart Parking lot on Frederick Blvd.

In his motion, Broccoletti says pre-trial publicity makes it impossible for Rankin to get a fair trial.  He notes the volume and nature of pre-trial publicity,  the hundreds of media reports, and thinks the population of Portsmouth is too small to get a fair and impartial jury pool.

This motion and others will be argued January 4th.

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