Arguments set next month on Marinello venue motion

Published 4:58 pm Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Attorneys for former New Orleans broadcaster Vince Marinello will argue next month that their client cannot get a fair trial in Jefferson Parish.

During a brief hearing Monday, State District Judge Conn Regan set March 24 for arguments on their motion for a change of venue.

Defense attorneys claim in court papers that news media coverage of Marinello’s case has biased potential jurors in the case.

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Marinello, 70, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of his estranged wife, Liz Marinello, 45.

She died while seeking to annul the marriage on grounds that he had not divorced his previous wife when they married in 2004.

The trial is set to begin the week of May 12.

Liz Marinello was leaving a regularly scheduled therapy session in a Metairie Road office building when she was shot twice in the face on Aug. 31, 2006. Vince Marinello claimed he was driving to Jackson, Miss., to watch a Saints game with friends at the time, but Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives say he shot her before beginning the four-hour drive.

Marinello’s attorneys are asking to hold the trial in another parish or to select a jury elsewhere and house them in Jefferson. They filed the motion for a change of venue on Jan. 15, weeks after Regan denied their request to toss out much of the state’s evidence, including the alleged checklist Marinello kept to plan his wife’s murder.