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Murder Suspect’s Defense Attorney Asks For Venue Change

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Sonora, CA — The attorney representing one of two men facing murder charges in the death of a Mokelumne Hill man is seeking a change of venue for the trial.

LeRoy Falk is the defense attorney for 20-year-old Daniel Rocha. Falk says the extensive amount of pre-trial publicity will make it impossible for his client to receive a fair trial.

He says he has heard several people in the community talking about the case and the trial should be moved somewhere else.

Rocha is scheduled to be tried along with co-defendant 21-year-old Donald Pinon January 12th.

A motion filed by Pinon´s attorney Cyril Ash to try the two men separately was denied by Superior Court Judge Thomas Smith at a pre-trial hearing yesterday.

The two men have accused each other of shooting 19-year-old David Jessop in March. Prosecutors say the gang-related shooting was a case of mistaken identity and Jessop´s roommate was the intended target.

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