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Man wants change of venue in coming trials

©Associated Press
February 3, 2003

PENSACOLA -- A man accused of aiding two teenagers after they had killed their father wants his trials on those allegations and charges that he molested one of the boys moved from Pensacola.

Ricky Chavis, 41, of Pensacola, has sought the change of venue on grounds that intense media coverage would make it impossible to select an unbiased jury in Escambia County.

He is to be tried Feb. 10 on charges of molesting Alex King, now 13, and Feb. 24 on charges of being an accessory after the fact and evidence tampering in the murder of Terry King, who was beaten to death with a baseball bat by Derek King, now 14, on Nov. 26, 2001 at the victim's home in Cantonment, north of Pensacola.

Derek and Alex, who admitted urging his brother to kill their father, each pleaded guilty to third-degree murder last year.

The pleas resulted from mediation ordered by a judge who threw out the verdicts of a jury that found the boys guilty of second-degree murder without a weapon.

The case drew national attention in part because the state also prosecuted Chavis as the killer. A separate jury acquitted him.

No hearing has been scheduled yet on the change-of-venue motions. Assistant State Attorney David Rimmer said he would oppose moving the trials, citing Chavis' acquittal on the murder charge as evidence he can obtain a fair trial in Pensacola.

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