Posted at: 09/20/2013 5:23 PM
Updated at: 09/20/2013 5:43 PM
By: Abigail Bleck
SARATOGA SPRINGS -- When Dennis Drue's trial begins September 30th, it will be in Saratoga County court, in Ballston Spa. The Defense had requested a change in venue for the 23 year old who faces 59 counts, mostly felonies, including vehicular manslaughter. But that application was denied.
"The underlying passion in this case is sub volcanic anger, which has just been ignited would not be present in a county that does not have this kind, not touched by this publicity," explained Drue's attorney, Steve Coffey, in an interview with NewsChannel 13 two weeks ago.
Last December, investigators say Drue caused a crash on the Northway that killed Shenenehahowa's Chris Stewart and Deanna Rivers. Matt Hardy, another Shen student, and Baily Wind, from Shaker, were severly injured. In the weeks and months since, there have been countless memorials, tributes and fundraisers. DA Murphy is confident, however, in the jury pool's ability to be fair and impartial.
"We think the residents of Saratoga County,as jurors, understand a case that has notoriety and (they can) make a decision not on what they've heard before but what's heard in the court room," explains Murphy Friday, after the appellate decision was issued.
According to the Defense, the hundreds of thousands of dollars a change in venue would cost is a small price to pay for justice. The prosecution counters that it's an unnecessary expense.
"We would have to incur enormous expenses--rent office space, rent hotel rooms, the victims' families and witnesses would have to be flown to the area and it would cost a lot of money," adds Murphy.
If convicted, Drue faces 25 years in prison.