Richardson Trial Will Remain In Pitt County

A lawyer for a high profile double murder case told a judge Friday morning his client can't get a fair trial in Pitt County.

But the trial of James Richardson will be held in Pitt County, as Superior Court Judge Russell Duke denied the lawyer's request for a change of venue.

Richardson is charged with murdering Landon Blackley and Andrew Kirby outside the Other Place night club in Greenville in 2009.

The change of venue hearing was held this morning at the Pitt County Courthouse. Richardson's lawyer wanted the trial moved out of Pitt County because of extensive media coverage in the case.

Part of the evidence presented in the hearing included a survey done by the Fair Trial Initiative, a Durham-based group that helps with death penalty cases. That survey interviewed about 500 people in Pitt County, 82% who say they live in the county and have heard of the Richardson case.

The survey says of those, 35% have formed an opinion on his guilt or innocence, 26% said Richardson was guilty, 29% said they didn't think 12 impartial jurors could be found in the county and 15% didn't know.

District Attorney Clark Everett tried to discount the survey, saying only people who were out and about between 9 and 5 p.m. were questioned, not those who were working full-time during the day. He said the survey didn't ask people whether they thought Richardson was innocent, just if they thought he was guilty.

The D.A. said people commenting on web stories, such as on witn.com, could be from anywhere in the world, and not necessarily from Pitt County.

The murder trial is scheduled for March.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Elizabeth Location: Greenville on Jan 24, 2011 at 07:18 PM
    I believe he is innocent. I went to school with him and graduated with him. He is just not the type that would harm anyone. If you knew him you would know what I'm talking about. I believe he is taking the blame for someone. It's not him he didn't do it. I will stand by his side until the end. He was my friend and my fellow class mate. James your in my thoughts and prayers. I will be at your trial the whole time cause I know your innocent my friend. Love You My Friend and Fellow Class Mate of 1996.
  • by This Is Just Terrible on Jan 22, 2011 at 05:23 AM
    I hope he goes to jail for a lonnnnnngggg time. He is one sick individual. To all of you "innocent until proven guilty" people: even if he is found innocent in court, the experience he will have in hell for what he has done on this earth will be more than enough punishment. He better start asking for forgiveness from the Lord himself, he is the only one who can help him out now...
  • by Justice Location: Greenville on Jan 18, 2011 at 04:03 PM
    As much publicy this trial has gotten it does need to be handle in another county and definetly not by leading judge in pitt co... however it makes no diffrence due to Pitt Co racial make up and political person... Richardson should receive a active sentence... how ever am sure pitt co senior judge will ensure he gets life or the death penalty... the sad part a friend fincee was murder 7 years ago but bc he was black the persons charged are still awaiting court dates...............
  • by George Location: Greenville on Jan 16, 2011 at 02:02 AM
    This is a Pitt County problem and it should be handled by Pitt County citizens. It's up to us to clean up our own back yards!
  • by Russ Location: Henderson on Jan 15, 2011 at 06:34 AM
    You innocent until proven guilty are funny. Did Loughner shoot those people in Arizona? You can be guilty as sin but just not found guilty in the eyes of the court yet.
  • by to the attorney Location: Greenville on Jan 15, 2011 at 06:25 AM
    Too bad Tommy, that didn't work. You're gonna have to dig a little deeper in your bag of dirty tricks to save this one.
  • by Mike Location: Jax on Jan 14, 2011 at 04:37 PM
    To; those wanting the trial moved for fairness. This whole scam did not work for the Ceasar Lorean trial, did it? NEWS FLASH: Whoop whoop. The guilty can't hide.
  • by Is That. on Jan 14, 2011 at 04:11 PM
    To,what is.I Dont Like Mondays,I want to Shoot the whole day down.Google It.Anyway why must we look at this Ara of up here every other week.
  • by To Fair is Fair Location: Greenville on Jan 14, 2011 at 02:54 PM
    IF he was innocent, WHY did he hide out for 2 days? There were multiple eye-witnesses that can 100% testify that it was him. Obviously he is not the smartest one out there as he decided to MURDER 2 people in front of lots of people. He tried to kill more than 2, but luckily he isn't a good shot. That's not surprising either.
  • by Fair is Fair Location: Up State on Jan 14, 2011 at 02:29 PM
    Wow! Brandon, I thought it was "Innocent until proven Guilty" That's exactly why a change of venue was requested. I guess since it was denied we'll see how much of a fair trial he'll really get....Yeah right....SN: Let me make myself clear: if he did it,then he will get a well deserved punishment.You reap what you sow! I agree with you "G" from Greenville.
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