Charles Kenneth Hodges -- charged with killing a woman during a robbery of a Kearns video store - will be tried in Salt Lake County.
Third District Judge Raymond Uno has denied a defense motion to move the trial to Summit or Tooele counties.Legal defender Andy Valdez wanted the trial moved, arguing the extensive media coverage has hampered his client's right to a fair trial.
In a hearing Monday, Uno said it would be inappropriate to move a trial before the court has a chance to question potential jurors about their exposure to news reports.
Uno also said Salt Lake County has a larger pool of potential jurors than the surrounding counties and that time has likely diluted people's memories of the news reports.
Valdez requested a transcript of Uno's ruling so he can appeal the decision to the Utah Supreme Court. The attorney said he doesn't believe the appeal will interfere with the trial, scheduled for Jan. 17.
Hodges, 44, also known as Charles H. McCovey, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Anna Holmes, 31, a pregnant West Valley mother who was shot in the head during a robbery April 22 at Video Voyager, 5448 S. 4220 West.
A hearing is still scheduled for Oct. 7 on the question of whether potential jurors can be questioned about their views on blood atonement, the belief that a person must give his own life to be forgiven for taking the life of another.
A second defendant, Raymond Darl Young, charged with second-degree murder, accused of being an accomplice, will be tried after Hodges because Young may be called to testify against Hodges.