Ex-police officer charged in Corey Jones shooting seeks change of venue

Attorney for Nouman Raja says client can't get fair trial in Palm Beach County

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor

Nouman Raja, a former Palm Beach Gardens police officer, wants his upcoming trial moved out of Palm Beach County.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Nouman Raja is asking a judge to move his trial out of Palm Beach County.

An attorney for the former Palm Beach Gardens police officer, charged with manslaughter in the 2015 fatal shooting of Corey Jones, has filed a motion seeking a change of venue in Raja's upcoming trial.

Jones, 31, was stranded on the side of an Interstate 95 exit ramp in Palm Beach Gardens after his SUV had broken down when he was shot and killed by Raja on Oct. 18, 2015. Raja was on duty but not wearing his uniform at the time of the shooting.

"The one-sided law enforcement version of events contained in the probable cause affidavit has been disseminated and cited repeatedly in the media and on social media," defense attorney Richard Lubin wrote in the motion filed Monday. "Officer Raja cannot get a fair trial in Palm Beach County."

Raja signed an affidavit in support of the motion, as did two other attorneys.

The motion includes various newspaper and television website articles about Raja's case.

"From the extensive pretrial publicity, prospective jurors would have also been subjected to a constant media drumbeat of prejudicial and inadmissible facts and opinions," Lubin wrote.

Palm Beach County Joseph Marx last week denied a request by Raja's attorney to modify the conditions of his house arrest. He also partially approved a motion to exclude the testimony of the state's forensic pathology expert.

Another judge rejected Raja's earlier "stand your ground" self-defense claim, clearing the path for the trial to move forward.

Raja's trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 22.

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