Lawyers for confessed killer Cary Stayner lost a bid this morning to get his trial for three Yosemite National Park murders moved again.
The ruling came before the final phase of jury selection. The trial was moved to Santa Clara County from Mariposa County because of extensive news coverage there.
A court survey said coverage has been so intense that 96 percent of the jury pool had seen or read about the case. But Santa Clara County Judge Thomas Hastings said he sees no reason why Stayner can´t get a fair trial.
After a month of jury selection, a pool of 67 prospective jurors was brought into the courtroom for the final cut to 12 jurors and four alternates.
Hastings closed the jury selection to the media. He said the courtroom would be too crowded. He refused to hear or accept arguments from lawyers for The Associated Press and other media organizations.
Stayner is being tried for the February 1999 killings of Carole Sund, her daughter Juli and family friend Silvina Pelosso.
He is already serving a federal life term without parole after pleading guilty to killing Yosemite park guide Joie Armstrong.