Man charged in slayings wants trial moved from Cedar Rapids

A man accused of fatally shooting two 18-year-olds in a vehicle in a business parking lot wants his trial moved out of Cedar Rapids.

Linn County District Court records say an Oct. 25 hearing is scheduled to hear the request from 26-year-old Andre Richardson. He’s pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the May 18 slayings of Matrell Johnson and Royal Abram. Police say two others also were hit by bullets in the parked vehicle at the Iowa Smoke Shop in Cedar Rapids.

Richardson’s lawyer says extensive media reports of the slayings and subsequent investigation have made it impossible for Richardson to get a fair trial before an impartial jury in Linn County.

Richardson’s trial is scheduled to begin May 4.

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