Relocation of Rideout murder trial rejected on eve of jury selection

June 19, 2017 07:16 PM

The trial for four defendants charged in connection with the murder of Penfield father Craig Rideout moved toward jury selection on Tuesday after the judge rejected requests to relocate the trial on Monday.

Defense attorneys questioned whether a jury could be prejudiced by media attention to the case and by the release of information later declared inadmissible in the trial.

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"There's a whole list of cases that have had a lot of attention, bigger cases,” said Monroe Count Assistant District Attorney Timothy Prosperi.  “And, and each case, the court has been able to get to a jury pool that could be fair and impartial."

Rideout’s two sons, Colin and Alexander, his wife Laura and her boyfriend Paul Tucci were all charged in connection with Rideout’s death.  The 50 year old was found dead in Yates County in July of 2016.

In a hearing on the eve of the trial, defense attorneys asked Judge Thomas Moran to adjourn the trial. He declined. They also asked for a change of venue out of Monroe County, specifically citing media reports about comments Colin Rideout was alleged to have made to police. Those comments were declared inadmissible in court because of the circumstances under which they were made. Colin Rideout’s attorney complained that the fact that they’d appeared in news reports could compromise his ability to get a fair trial.

Moran refused the request for a change of venue saying he did not find the news coverage he had seen to be prejudicial.

Defense attorneys promised close scrutiny of jury candidates. “Jurors are going to be questioned by all the attorneys,” said attorney Michael Schiano. “Hopefully they won't have any preconceived notions about what happened and they can be fair and impartial and listen to what the evidence is in this case."

Schiano said it was possible the notion of moving the trial could be revisited depending on what jury candidates have to say during the voir dire process of screening them.

Proceedings for the trial were scheduled to start Tuesday June 20 at 9:15 a.m.


Charles Molineaux

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