Local News

Accused Marine's attorney asks for change of venue

Posted September 30, 2009

— The attorney for a former Marine charged in the death of a pregnant comrade has asked that the upcoming trial be moved out of Onslow County.

Cpl. Cesar Laurean is charged with first-degree murder in the December 2007 death of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach while they were stationed at Camp Lejeune.

Her charred remains were found in a shallow grave behind the Jacksonville home Laurean shared with his wife and young daughter. Laurean fled to Mexico, where he was arrested there three months later.

In a bond hearing in April, Laurean's attorney, Dick McNeil, cited comments about local anger over the case as evidence that extensive publicity surrounding the case would jeopardize Laurean's right to impartial jurors and a fair trial.

Onslow County District Attorney Dewey Hudson agreed not to seek the death penalty against Laurean to secure his extradition from Mexico.

Lauterbach, 20, told military authorities that Laurean raped her in April 2007. She was seven months pregnant at the time of her death. A DNA test showed that Laurean was not the father of her child.

In addition to murder, Laurean faces charges of robbery with a dangerous weapon, financial transaction card theft, attempted financial transaction card fraud and obtaining property by false pretenses. Those charges stem from the theft of Lauterbach's bank card, which was later used to withdraw money.


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  • Diabolical Oct 1, 2009

    Hmm, so whose the father? How do you know he didn't do it.

  • 6079 SMITH W Sep 30, 2009

    I would comment on this but I can't get by the censor.

  • Panther Sep 30, 2009

    I agree the trial must be moved to prevent any excuses that he did not receive a fair trial. How about moving the trial to Goldsboro or Fayetteville? I’m sure he will get a fair trial there!!!

  • SaltlifeLady Sep 30, 2009

    Sure, let him move the case out of Onslow County. It was their DA who made the deal with Mexico, not any other county. Bring him to another county so the death penalty can be sought!

  • hpr641 Sep 30, 2009

    So, he (or Mexico at least) makes a deal with the Onslow DA not to seek the death penalty, and now he wants the case out of Onslow. I say, fine, let him have the trial moved to ANY other county ... as long as it's one whose DA is known to aggressively seek the death penalty (and wouldn't be bound by any agreement not to).

  • affirmativediversity Sep 30, 2009

    Why doesn't he just plead guilty, take his life sentence like a man AND save us the expense of a SHOW TRIAL!

    There is innocent until proven guilty AND then there is CAUGHT DEAD TO RIGHTS WITH NO EXCUSES!