Accused Double Murderer Whitworth to ask for Change of Venue
29 year-old Jonathan Whitworth, the man charged with two murders at a downtown motel in October, 2018, plans to ask a District Court judge for a change of venue.
Deputy County Attorney Jordan Kilby is the lead prosecutor in the case.
“He is accused of two counts of deliberate homicide and one count of attempted deliberate homicide for a shooting at the Mountain Valley Inn,” said Kilby. “The allegations are that he went into the motel room and then started firing. The allegations are that the shootings were drug related.”
Killed in the shootings were Megan McLaughlin and Jason Flink, while another man, Kaleb Williams was shot and stabbed but survived.
Kilby explained the meaning of a change of venue.
“Generally speaking, one of the reasons you can ask for a change of venue is if there’s been a lot of press around an issue and you’re not able to seat a jury that is unbiased,” she said. “What defense attorneys will do is they will file a motion and argue that there has been too much press, and that their client would not be able to get an unbiased jury. I’m not sure what their basis is in this case, but that’s generally what people do.”
KGVO spoke with one of the defense attorneys assigned to the case regarding the change of venue request, but he declined to comment.
Kilby said if found guilty on all the charges, Whitworth could receive up to three life terms in the Montana State Prison.
His co-defendant, now 19 year-old Preston Rossbach has asked to have his trial moved to youth court.