Change of Venue for Osage County Sheriff\'s Case

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OSAGE COUNTY - Osage County Sheriff Michael Dixon appeared in Circuit Court Thursday for an arraignment, where his attorney Travis Noble requested for a change of venue to St. Louis County.

Authorities accused Dixon of stalking and harassing a woman who is an officer in the nearby town of Belle. After discussing locations for the case, the judge, prosecutor, Dixon and his attorney settled to move it to St. Louis County.

Noble says it will be a closer venue for the judge and also him, since he is a defense attorney out of St. Louis. At the previous hearing last winter, Noble said he was comfortable with the Osage County Courthouse for their venue, but now he thinks differently.

"The more I thought about it in terms of trying to pick a jury and the more I have gotten into this case and seen some of the politics behind some of whats going on surrounding this case, the more comfortable I felt about taking this case outside the area to pick twelve jurors, whether it be through Kansas City, Springfield, St. Louis or wherever," said Noble.

One local resident agrees. "I think it's probably a good thing because I think everyone in Osage County probably has an opinion, one way or the other, that might be better for everyone if he can have a change of venue where no one knows him," said Linn resident Matt Yutzy.

Noble also says having twelve jurors from other communities might provide Dixon with a more fair trial.

"Often times, people start making up their minds," said Noble. "They hear a rumor, they make an assumption and then we are not going to sway their opinion no matter how many facts we give them and so thats hard to overcome."

Noble believes the trial will take at least a week. No date has been set, but KOMU was told it won't be before June.