Rancher Wants to Move Trial

Rancher Wants to Move Trial

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LOGAN, Utah (AP) -- Attorneys for a Benson rancher charged with manslaughter in the 2004 death of a motorist who struck one of his steers are seeking to have his trial moved.

Darrell Kunzler, 69, is charged in the death of Kimberly Johnson, a 40-year-old mother of six from Auburn, Wash.

Kunzler's attorneys contend the trial should be moved because of "excessive and prejudicial media coverage."

"It is reasonably likely that a panel of jurors in Cache County could not impartially decide this case due to political rhetoric and persistent news stories published in the small community," defense attorney Greg Skordas wrote in a motion filed in 1st District Court this week.

Johnson had just dropped off her oldest daughter, a student at Utah State University, in Logan, and was headed to her in-laws in Tremonton when she struck a black steer along Utah 30 about three miles west of Logan.

According to an arrest warrant, Kunzler has demonstrated a 30-year pattern of failing to properly contain his livestock, despite repeated requests by law enforcement.

Former and current highway patrol troopers have testified that Kunzler has boasted of making money off insurance payouts when motorists struck the animals.


Information from: The Herald Journal, http://www.hjnews.com

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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