Federal authorities are planning to move the trial of Jared Lochner, the alleged gunman in the Jan. 8 mass shooting in Tucson, to San Diego because of extensive pretrial publicity in Arizona, the Washington Post reports. Sources cited the sensitivity of the case in Arizona, where one of those fatally shot was John Roll, the state's chief federal judge. The new chief judge, Roslyn Silver, will make the final decision about any venue change, but one law enforcement official said “it's going to happen. It's just a matter of time.”
San Diego would get the case in part because it's one of the closest judicial districts to Arizona. A San Diego-based federal judge, Larry Burns, has been appointed to hear the case because Arizona judges recused themselves. Judy Clarke, Loughner's attorney, is also based there. Although changes of venue are not regularly granted, they have occurred in high-profile cases. In 1996, a federal judge moved the Oklahoma City bombing case to Denver, saying defendants Timothy J. McVeigh and Terry L. Nichols had been “demonized” in the media.