Crime

Judge moves trial for suspect in Chester councilman’s slaying to Fairfield Co.

Moore
Moore Chester County Sheriff’s Office

The trial for the man accused of pulling the trigger in the shooting death of Chester City Councilman Odell Williams will be moved to Fairfield County, a judge ruled Friday.

Circuit Court Judge Brian Gibbons issued the order Friday afternoon, Deputy Sixth Circuit Solicitor Julie Hall said. Gibbons heard arguments on a change of venue motion Thursday from Deputy Public Defender William Frick, who is representing Christopher Moore.

Moore, 19, is charged with murder in the Nov. 4, 2014, slaying of Williams, 69, a city councilman and retired Chester police officer.

Police and prosecutors have said Moore shot Williams and was one of five alleged Roundtree Circle Gang members Williams was following, because he had been told they were planning to rob a rival gang. Moore is accused of lying in wait for Williams after getting out of a truck during the chase, then shooting Williams with an assault rifle in a barrage of 17 shots.

Frick argued Thursday that finding an unbiased jury in Chester County would be too difficult due to the amount of media coverage the case has received. He suggested moving it to nearby Fairfield County, which is in the Sixth Judicial Circuit along with Chester and Lancaster counties. He said an appeal would be more likely if the case were tried in Chester.

Hall argued Thursday that Williams’ family wanted the case to be tried by a Chester County jury. A date hasn’t been set, but Hall said in court the case should be ready for trial within six months. She declined to comment on the judge’s decision.

Gibbons denied a motion by the state to revoke Moore’s bond on an assault and battery charge stemming from an incident in early 2014 and a defense motion to set bond on the murder charge.

Teddy Kulmala: 803-329-4082, @teddy_kulmala

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