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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Venue Change Granted in Officer's Trial (May 2007 incident)

(Posted 27 Aug 2008)

Venue Change Granted in Officer's Trial.
Post, 27 Aug 2008 (Castaneda),
A Prince George's County judge granted a change of venue yesterday in the trial of a county police officer charged with two counts of vehicular manslaughter, authorities said.

Circuit Judge Graydon S. McKee III granted the motion by Michael Belsky, the attorney for Officer Scott Campbell. Campbell is accused of chasing a motorcyclist on the Capital Beltway's inner loop near Forestville during rush hour in May 2007.

In court papers, Belsky argued that pretrial publicity about the crash, as well as media coverage of other allegations of misconduct by county police in recent years, would make it impossible for his client to receive a fair trial in Prince George's.

A camera in Campbell's cruiser recorded speeds of more than 120 mph as he chased the motorcyclist, law enforcement sources have said. Campbell's cruiser slammed into a sport utility-vehicle, which flew over the guardrail and into traffic on the Beltway's inner loop. The two men in the SUV, Sidney Clanton, 50, of Buffalo, and Kevin McCarter, 49, of Fort Washington, were killed.

William D. Missouri, the Circuit Court's chief administrative judge, is expected to decide this week where the case will be tried.

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