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Prosecutors Oppose Motion to Move W.Va. Chemical Spill Case

Freedom Industries
Aaron Payne
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  Prosecutors oppose a motion by former executives asking a judge to move their criminal case over a chemical spill.

In Charleston federal court Thursday, prosecutors wrote that ex-Freedom Industries officials Gary Southern and Dennis Farrell didn't sufficiently prove that public sentiment over a water crisis is so prejudiced that fair and impartial jurors can't be found in southern West Virginia.

Prosecutors believe jury selection and screening questionnaires will suffice.

Southern and Farrell want the case moved out of state.

A change-of-venue motion by the defense says a survey found an overwhelming presumption of guilt among potential jurors.

Freedom's tank leak in Charleston spurred a tap-water ban for 300,000 people for days.

Southern and Farrell face federal pollution charges. Southern faces additional bankruptcy fraud charges.

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