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Dayton to be tried in Iowa County

Jessica Dayton will be tried in Iowa County.

Dayton, 19, Belle Plaine, is accused of first-degree murder in connection with the July 19, 2009, killing of Curtis Bailey, 33, Marengo.

Her attorney Douglas Eichholz had requested a change of venue, believing a fair and impartial jury could not be found in Iowa County.

Judge Denver D. Dillard disagreed. Dillard deemed the media coverage was not excessive.

In a pre-trial hearing April 7 in Iowa County District Court, Denver denied the motion for a change of venue.

Jury selection for the Dayton trial will proceed April 19 at 8 a.m. in Iowa County District Court.

Dillard reviewed 71 juror questionnaires. According to the ruling made by Dillard April 7, the 23 prospective jurors whose questionnaires showed they had formed an opinion about Dayton’s guilt or innocence and/or indicated they could not be fair and impartial will be eliminated as prospective jurors.

In order to ensure a panel of 36 jurors is available, Dillard ordered the Iowa County Clerk of Courts to summon 25 additional jurors.

Denise Frei, 44, Marengo, and Jacob Hilgendorf, 20, Belle Plaine have also been implicated in the killing of Curtis Bailey. They are scheduled to go on trial May 18.


UPDATED April 13, 2010 4:12 PM

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