The trial is set for a biology teacher accused of feeding a dying puppy to a snapping turtle in front of students.
Prosecutors sought to move the trial of Robert Crosland outside of Franklin County because they said the teacher has such widespread community support it would be difficult to find an unbiased jury in the Preston community, the Idaho State Journal reported.
“Because Preston is a small community, all residents have likely read about, heard about or discussed this case with a friend, family member, significant other, witness or colleague,” the State Journal reported Idaho Deputy Attorney General David Morse said in a motion submitted to the court. “These discussions have likely established and cemented opinions about the facts of the case and the perceived proper outcome before any of the evidence has been presented.”
District Judge David C. Hooste was not convinced. He ruled the jury trial will be held Oct. 26 in Franklin County, the State Journal reported.
Crosland pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty charges in connection with the March 7 incident. If convicted Crosland faces up to six months in jail and a $5,000 fine.
He is teaching this year despite the charges.
Before this incident, the Preston community was best known as the setting for the 2004 cult movie “Napoleon Dynamite.”
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