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June 10, 2010 11:11 AM

Johns Trial Moved To Sioux Falls

sioux falls, sd

The murder trial of a man charged with killing a deputy sheriff in Turner County is being moved 30 miles to Sioux Falls.

The judge approved a change-of-venue request from attorneys for 21-year-old Ethan Johns. They said it would be hard to seat an impartial jury in Turner County because Johns and Deputy Chad Mechels have ties there and many potential jurors have formed an opinion.  The judge tells the attorneys there's a "reasonable apprehension" that Johns would not receive a fair and impartial trial there.

Johns is accused of shooting the 32-year-old Mechels when the deputy was sent to check on Johns' well-being in March 2009. The state plans to seek the death penalty if Johns is convicted of first-degree murder.

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