State News

Judge delays change of venue ruling in nursing home massacre

Posted October 7, 2010 9:02 a.m. EDT
Updated July 8, 2011 5:41 p.m. EDT

— A Superior Court judge has delayed ruling on whether a man accused of killing eight people at a Carthage nursing home should get his trial moved to another county.

Robert Stewart, 47, wants his trial for the shootings at the Pinelake Health and Rehabilitation Center moved out of Moore County.

Superior Court Judge James Webb said Thursday he would take the matter under advisement but did not say when he might rule.

Stewart’s attorneys argued Wednesday that their client can’t receive a fair trial in Moore County because most potential jurors have already made up their minds about the case.

The lawyers pointed to a poll they commissioned suggesting that likely jurors in Moore and four surrounding counties already had decided what they think happened.

District Attorney Maureen Krueger argued the survey can’t predict whether actual jurors would be biased.

Stewart is charged with eight counts of first-degree murder in the March 29, 2009, massacre. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.