First District Judge Gordon Lowe granted a change of venue Tuesday in the trial of a Snowville man charged with the 1987 kidnapping of a seven-year-old Deweyville girl.
Under the judge's ruling, the trial for Thomas Headley will be moved to Logan. Unless something is bumped from the court calendar in Logan, the trial won't take place until March, Lowe said, - two years after the kidnapping.The change was granted at the request of Box Elder County Attorney Jon Bunderson. "It would be difficult, if not impossible, to get an impartial jury in Box Elder County because of the pervasive and extensive news coverage following the previous trial," Bunderson said Tuesday. Lowe concurred.
Earlier this month, defense attorney Don Sharp also sought a change of venue, which Lowe granted.
However, Sharp withdrew his motion after Lowe ordered the trial moved to Logan. Sharp wanted the trial moved to Salt Lake City because it was "the closest place we can get a cosmopolitan-type population."
After Sharp withdrew his motion, Bunderson made the motion for a change of venue.
Headley is the second man to be charged with the March 1987 kidnapping of Tori Healey, then seven years old. Frank Harvey, a Washington state man, was tried and convicted in August 1987 of kidnapping of a child, sexual abuse of a child and aggravated kidnapping.
From the time of his arrest in March 1987 to his trial in August 1987, Harvey was confined in the Box Elder County Jail. At his trial, he was sentenced to 15 years in the Utah State Prison. He was immediately transferred to the prison to begin serving his sentence.
However, new evidence suggested Harvey may not have been the kidnapper. He was released from prison in January when the court granted him a new trial. All charges against him were dropped when Headley was arrested on June 1, 1988.
Harvey was arrested on March 25, 1987, several hours after Healey was released in Malta, Idaho. Harvey fit the general description Healey gave of her kidnapper.