Judge wants Van Dyke trial to begin this summer

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CHICAGO -- There was a testy court hearing Wednesday morning in the murder case of police officer Jason Van Dyke.

The defense was supposed to present a polling expert as part of its request for a change of venue for the politically charged trial.

Intense media coverage has prompted the request, with the defense arguing Van Dyke won’t get an impartial jury in Cook County.

But attorneys said that expert’s statistics weren’t ready; he’s been having weather related phone issues preventing him from polling in three potential venue counties.

That set off Judge Vincent Gaughan who called the ongoing delays in the case unacceptable.

There has been pressure by activists to set a trial date, and this morning an irritated Gaughan declared the case will go to trial this summer, although he didn’t give an exact date.

Attorneys have a lot to dig through- more than 500,000 pages of evidence, many sealed under a court order.

Eight Chicago media outlets have requested access to some of them, but the judge says the order needs to stay in place to ensure a fair trial.

Officer Van Dyke faces six counts of first degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery in the 2014 shooting death of Laquan McDonald.

The next court date is April 18.


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