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Chiesa loses appeal to move his murder trial

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The attorney for Peter Jordan Chiesa, the man accused of gunning down two women near Wallace, has lost another bid to have his client´s trial moved out of Calaveras County.

Sacramento attorney Clyde Blackmon originally asked Calaveras County Superior Court Judge John Martin for a change of venue in March, but was turned down. During a pre-trial court appearance Friday, Blackmon announced that the court of appeals in Sacramento had similarly denied his petition to move the trial. Afterward, Blackmon said he could take the matter to the state supreme court, but did not know yet if he would do that.

Trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 18.

Blackmon cited pre-trial publicity in asking for the change of venue. He still has the opportunity to re-file for the change of location in Martin´s court during jury selection.

Chiesa, 64, is accused of killing his neighbors, Leslie Hannameyer, 43, and Annette Truman, 41, on June 25, 2002, while the two women were clearing limbs and other tree-trimming debris from a common driveway shared by three properties.

In court Friday, Blackmon said he was trying to arrange visits for his client to three medical centers for a series of brain imaging scans. One facility is in Fairfield, the other two are in the Sacramento area, Blackmon said. Martin said he would be willing to sign the transport orders once the visits had been scheduled.

In previous court appearances, Blackmon has left open the possibility of changing Chiesa´s “not guilty” plea to “not guilty by reason of insanity.”

Calaveras Enterprise story by Craig Koscho. For more Calaveras news, click: