Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Change of venue granted in Reimer case

Judge cites ?high readership? in county as the reason

Express Staff Writer

Deborah A. Reimer

A criminal trial for Deborah A. Reimer, who is accused of trying to kill her ex-boyfriend last year, won't be heard in Blaine County.

Fifth District Court Judge Barry Wood granted a change of venue on Tuesday after hearing arguments that the "jury pool is tainted" by pretrial publicity in the case. Where and when the trial will be held remains in question.

The trial is scheduled to start on April 8, but it may have to be rescheduled if Wood has difficulty finding an available courtroom.

Defense attorney Keith Roark suggested the Burley-Rupert area but Wood said Boise may offer a better alternative.

Reimer has been charged with second-degree attempted murder for allegedly firing two shots at former boyfriend Bob Dreyer on July 18, 2007, at his home in south Ketchum.

"To try this case in Blaine County would represent a failure of the judicial system to fairly try Deborah Reimer," Roark said.

Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney Jim Thomas acknowledged that the case has received extensive publicity but said Roark has failed to demonstrate that "the jury pool is tainted."

"Most of these articles are in fact factual with things that will come out in the trial," Thomas said.

Roark disagreed. "We believe and we intend to show that Bob Dreyer is liar," he said.

Thomas, who appeared angered by Roark's statement, refuted the allegation and alleged that Roark made the statement, knowing news media were present, to further "taint the jury pool."

After hearing arguments, Wood said it would likely be a waste of time to pool prospective jurors in Blaine County. Ultimately, Wood said he based his decision to move the trial on the "high readership in this community."

"This community is different in every aspect from every other community in this district when it comes to pretrial publicity," Wood said. "The people up here are extremely more informed that the people in other communities. There's been a lot of talk about this case."

Reimer was not present at the hearing. She remains incarcerated in the Gooding County Jail on $1 million bond.

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