Citing vast media coverage of the October 2014 slayings of two Sacramento-area deputies and the nationwide debate over President Trump’s immigration policies, lawyers for accused killer Luis Bracamontes say their client cannot get a fair trial and are asking a Sacramento Superior Court judge to move the case to another county.
“There have been at least 289 news articles written about this case,” Bracamontes’ public defenders, Norm Dawson and Jeffrey Barbour, wrote in their motion to have the trial moved. “There have been at least 476 television broadcasts.
Compounding the difficulty in getting Bracamontes a fair trial, the lawyers added, is the fact that he is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico and that immigration has become a major political issue with the new Trump Administration.
“Mr. Bracamontes has been demonized in the local media,” they wrote. “He is portrayed as an outcast, not only from this community and also from this state but from this country.”
Bracamontes, a Mexican citizen who has a history of drug arrests and had been deported twice, is accused in a daylong rampage Oct. 24, 2014, during which Sacramento sheriff’s Deputy Danny Oliver and Placer sheriff’s Deputy Michael Davis Jr. were killed, two other deputies were shot and a passerby wounded. Bracamontes faces the death penalty if convicted. His wife, Janelle Monroy, who is accused of aiding him during the crime spree, faces life in prison.
The effort to move the case out of Sacramento has been expected since the early days of court proceedings, and Judge Steve White has scheduled a June 12 hearing on the issue.