Baxley Qwik Chick suspects request new trial location - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Baxley Qwik Chick suspects request new trial location

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

Two suspects in a now-infamous assault want their case moved out of Appling County. 

Two defendants in the attack at a Baxley chicken stand are blaming media coverage and social media posts for influencing any potential jurors. 

Attorneys for the Smiths say they can't get a fair trial in Appling County after their story has been seen all over the world. 

Eric Smith came into court asking that the assault trial against him and his wife, LaTasha, be moved out of Southeast Georgia. Their attorneys contend nobody in Appling County has missed the media coverage of the case. The lead attorney also pointed to Facebook posts by victim Jeanette Norris, claiming her comments have prejudiced anyone local who would be picked for a jury. 

"You have an entry from June 26 where she refers to the people she says jumped her as 'lowlives," said Jonathan Lockwood, Defense Attorney. 

Prosecutors countered to Judge Robert Guy that vetted jurors could still put aside what they may have seen or heard and reach a verdict. Norris herself said the defense claims had no base.

'They tried to turn everything around and make me the bad guy when all I was trying to do was figure out where they were and who they were," Norris said. 

Defense attorneys asked that the trial be moved from the WTOC viewing area to middle or north Georgia. They also pointed at comments the victim had made on Facebook about the suspects. She says she still can't believe the attention the case has gotten. 

"I had no idea when they asked if they could put the video out that we would have any kind of response like this," Norris said. 

Defense attorneys called into question one Facebook post from a worker in the jail kitchen who suggested they would feed the Smiths cold chicken every day. 

Prosecutors suggested a trial move to Camden County.

The judge says he'd take both sides under consideration and make his decision. 

We'll keep you updated. 

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