A Columbia man accused of shooting and seriously injuring a man in Unionville in December appeared in Putnam County Circuit Court Monday, September 28th.
The court granted the defense counsel’s request to have an opportunity to provide legal authority for a change of venue out of the Third Circuit to Adair or Macon county for 23-year-old John Daniel Crawford Murry. The request was granted based on the defense counsel’s argument that he does not believe Murry can receive a fair trial within the circuit solely based upon his race.
The state opposed moving the case out of the circuit or as an alternative suggested a change of venue to Sullivan County, which has a more racially diverse population and closer than Adair County. Both parties were granted the opportunity to provide the court with legal authority in support of their arguments for a change of venue.
The court inquired if the counties to which they are requesting the case be moved are conducting jury trials now, which could delay Murry from being able to have a jury trial scheduled and conducted given the Missouri Supreme Court’s operational directives and guidelines. The court will also allow the victim’s advocate the opportunity to provide any suggestions and input regarding the pending change of venue motion. Any suggestions and legal authority are due by the afternoon of Friday, October 2nd. The matter was taken under advisement.
Murry has been charged with the felonies of assault—first degree or attempt—serious physical injury or special victim and armed criminal action.
Co-defendant 23-year-old Victoria Hope Larsen of Columbia has been charged with the felonies of assault—first degree or attempt—serious physical injury or special victim, burglary—first degree, and armed criminal action. She is scheduled for a trial setting in Putnam County on October 21st.
Probable cause statements accuse Murry of entering an apartment by kicking in the front door and physically assaulting a 24-year-old before shooting him.
Video footage from Casey’s General Store in Unionville allegedly showed Larsen with Murry about 30 minutes before the incident.