Attorneys of officer in murder case ask for change of venue

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) - The attorneys of a former officer charged with murder are asking a judge to move the trial to different jurisdiction.

The Virginian-Pilot (http://bit.ly/1NUAIcY) reports the attorneys of 36-year-old Stephen Rankin argue their client cannot receive a fair trial in Portsmouth because of media attention the case has received and emotional outcry that has developed from the community.

The office of Commonwealth's Attorney Stephanie Morales declined to comment to the newspaper on the request for a change of venue.

Rankin was arrested on charges including first-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in the April 22 death of an 18-year-old.

A trial is set for March 21 in Portsmouth.

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