Bus crash suspect's trial will stay in Willmarby Mark Steil, Minnesota Public Radio
A Minnesota judge has denied Olga Franco's request to move her trial to the Twin Cities.
Judge David Peterson ordered the trial of the woman charged with vehicular homicide in the Cottonwood, Minn., bus crash to be held in Willmar.
Marshall, Minn. — Judge Peterson moved the trial from Marshall to Willmar last month. The defense appealed the choice, saying the chances of finding a diverse, impartial jury were better in the Twin Cities.
In rejecting the request, Peterson wrote the defense offered no evidence "that Kandiyohi County lacks a diverse jury pool."
The judge's order means that the trial is still scheduled to start July 28th in Willmar.
Still pending before the judge is a defense motion to present a case blaming Franco's boyfriend for the crash that killed four school children.
The state alleges that Franco drove the van which hit the bus. Franco denies the charges, she says her boyfriend was the driver.
Defense Attorney Manual Guerrero says he wants the judge to authorize his strategy, so the defense doesn't face a barrage of prosecutor objections in front of jurors.
The boyfriend fled the scene of the accident and has not been located.