Defense wants La Harpe murder trial moved - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Defense wants La Harpe murder trial moved

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Antonio Sanchez Antonio Sanchez
HANCOCK COUNTY, Ill. (WGEM) -

Andrew Schnack, attorney for Antonio Sanchez, who is charged with three counts of First Degree Murder and one count of Aggravated Battery with a Weapon, has filed several motions in a request that Sanchez be tried in Quincy.

Schnack stated that given the size of the crowd, that most members of the crowd will be wearing the same colored t-shirts or buttons with the phrase "Justice for Maddie" and that most of those attending the trial are understandably emotionally involved, that the court has all potential jurors use a separate entrance from the general public.

Schnack’s stated that there are over 40 potential witnesses in the case and the trial could take up to two weeks, so the possibility of jurors being subject to improper comments, statements, or media coverage exists. Schnack states that by having two separate entrances this possibility could be avoided.

Schnack asked that the court sequester the jurors in a local hotel from the time of selection until the verdict is received.

Schnack also requests that the courtroom be divided in half. Separating supporters of the state from the supporters of the defendant and that supporters of the defendant be allowed to wear blue t-shirts with white lettering saying “Free A.J”

Finally Schnak states that because of the nature of the charges and the required evidence that will be submitted, the “family and friends of the deceased, Maddie Finch would have an (understandable) inability to control their emotions in the presence of the jury which would also create a natural sympathy for the victim and the State and a dislike, if not outright hatred of the Defendant.”

For this reason, Schnack would like the jurors prevented from seeing the family during the trial. 

Schnack concludes the by stating that the Adams County Courthouse in Quincy has separate entrances for jurors and the general public and has a large courtroom that could accommodate anyone wishing to attend.

In addition, it has a separate room with a two-way mirror and speaker system that would allow the family of the victim or those prone to emotional outbursts to view and hear the trial without disrupting it.

Schnack also pointed out that the Adams County Courthouse is only 40 miles from Hancock County.

Sanchez is accused of killing 19-year-old Maddie Finch at a New Year's Eve party in La Harpe, Illinois.

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