Judge to decide location of Chicago officer’s murder trial

Jason Van Dyke.

CHICAGO – A judge overseeing the murder trial of a Chicago police officer in the 2014 fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald is to rule on the trial’s location.

Jason Van Dyke’s lawyers want the trial moved out of Cook County. A hearing is Friday. The defense says a jury chosen in the county would be swayed by the publicity surrounding the case.

Video released in 2015 shows Van Dyke shooting McDonald 16 times. The shooting has prompted protests and federal inquiries into the Chicago Police Department.

Van Dyke’s lawyers filed a motion requesting that someone other than Judge Vincent Gaughan decide the change-of-venue motion. They believe Gaughan has already decided not to move the trial. The presiding judge of Cook County Circuit Court’s criminal division on Tuesday rejected the request.