April 11, 2017
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s trial on securities fraud charges has been moved to Harris County.
Last month, the judge in the case ordered the trial moved out of Collin County, where Paxton resides. Prosecutors had argued Paxton and his allies had tainted the jury pool there.
“Harris County was selected because the lead counsel for the state and the defense are located there,” the judge, George Gallagher, said in a statement. “Harris County also has the facilities to accommodate the trial.”
A new trial date has not yet been set. The trial in Collin County had been scheduled for May 1.
The new location is another setback for Paxton’s lawyers, who had argued Gallagher had been misled into ordering the change of venue. Gallagher overruled their objections Tuesday as he sent the trial to Harris County.
Harris County, home to Houston, is the most populous county in Texas. It is also far less Republican than Collin County, where the GOP attorney general has long lived.
He is accused of misleading investors in a company from before his time as the state’s top lawyer. Paxton, who has pleaded not guilty, could face up to 99 years in prison if convicted.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2017/04/11/paxton-trial-moved-harris-county/.
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