Accused killer seeks change of venue

Accused killer seeks change of venue

WATSEKA — A rural Ashkum man charged in the murder of a Gilman gas station clerk claims he cannot receive a fair trial in Iroquois County because of pretrial publicity.

Kankakee attorney Ed Glazar Jr. filed a motion this week in Iroquois County Circuit Court seeking a change of venue for the jury trial of his client, Andrew M. Condon.

Associate Judge James B. Kinzer is expected to rule on the motion during a hearing set for 1:30 p.m. Jan. 22.

Condon, 34, has pleaded innocent to two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the October 2012 fatal shooting of Jonathan D. Rubin, 27, of Danforth, at the Shell gas station in Gilman where Mr. Rubin worked.

Glazar claims that the 27 newspaper articles that have been published about the court case since Nov. 14, 2012, have prejudiced potential Iroquois County jurors.

"Several of the printed articles divulge prejudicial details of the case at hand which include: items seized including a mask, the berm searched during the investigation and its relation to shell casings found at the scene of the crime, and numerous references to the contents of a surveillance video," Glazar's motion says.

Glazar also noted that a number of the headlines in published articles refer to Condon as "accused killer" or "alleged murderer," while others refer to his name with an accompanying photograph of him in handcuffs.

Glazar said seven Paxton Record articles also quoted authorities as saying Condon "made a scene" and was "banging on the counter" after being refused the sale of cigarettes by Mr. Rubin.

"Such statements allude to the fact that the defendant was acting erratically, and same has not been proven to be the truth," Glazar said.

Also, Glazar said a Paxton Record story on June 13 divulged the contents of the surveillance video at the gas station, including a judge's opinion of Condon's behavior and a witness' statement. Glazar acknowledged that the information is "a matter of public record," but that those facts were not "widely known to potential jurors" and stand to "prejudicially sway a jury as to the guilt of the defendant."

Glazar also said The Gilman Star reported that Iroquois County State's Attorney Jim Devine said Condon was at the gas station around 2 a.m. for the first time and then returned to the store around 3:15 a.m. — but Glazar said that has never been determined so the statement is "highly prejudicial."

Condon remained Friday at the Iroquois County Jail on a $1 million bond.

Mr. Rubin, a native of the Woodworth and Milford areas, was a 2003 graduate of Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley.

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