A Nelson County judge has denied Randy Taylor a change of venue request.
Taylor’s attorney Michael Hallahan had earlier filed a motion seeking a change of venue because he is worried Taylor won’t get a fair trial in Nelson County. He said because of all the media attention, it will be difficult to seat a fair and impartial jury.
Judge Michael Gamble said Thursday that there has not been enough inaccurate, ill-timed, or inflammatory media coverage to prompt a change in venue, CBS 6 affiliates WDBJ report.
The judge granted a motion stating that prosecutors must let the court know before mentioning any other missing persons or murder case.
Taylor is scheduled to go on trial May 1 on charges including first-degree murder and abduction with intent to defile.
Taylor, 48, was arrested Aug. 12 and initially charged with abduction in connection with Alexis’ disappearance.
Surveillance video at a Lovingston gas station captured images of Murphy, 17, on Saturday, Aug. 3. That was the last time Alexis Murphy was seen.
Taylor’s attorney told CBS 6 News in August that her disappearance might be linked to a drug deal.
He said Taylor, Alexis and an unidentified drug dealer met at Taylor’s Nelson Highway home. After buying $60 in marijuana Taylor insisted Alexis and the drug dealer left. Taylor said that was the last time he saw the teen.
A special grand jury brought first-degree murder charges against Taylor in January 2014.
He was indicted on First Degree Murder, First Degree Felony Murder (murder of Alexis Murphy during commission of a felony), Abduction with Intent to Defile and Grand Larceny (unrelated to Alexis Murphy case).