It's Official: Laurean Case Moved To Wayne County

It's official, Cesar Laurean's murder trial will be heard in Wayne County this summer.

Onslow County District Attorney Dewey Hudson says he's confident the former Marine will get a fair trial for the murder of Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach.

Deputies say the pregnant Lauterbach was murdered at Laurean's home and then her body was buried in his backyard. Authorities say Laurean fled the state and was captured in his native Mexico.

Laurean's attorney, Dick McNeil, wanted the case moved, saying publicity on the high profile case would make it impossible for the man to get a fair trial in Jacksonville.

McNeil says he respects the judge's decision to move the trial to Wayne County. He tells WITN that he feels Judge Henry thoroughly investigated all venue possibilities.

Hudson says Wayne County was chosen because it was the closest county available that has seen the least amount of publicity on the case. The D.A. admits it will be hard to find a juror who has not heard of Laurean, while they are trying to find jurors who have not formulated an opinion on the case. He says people in Onslow County have been inundated with news reports on the case.

Laurean will be transferred to Wayne County for the trial, which is expected to last four weeks.

Hudson says pretrial motions on the case will still be heard in Onslow County.


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