The attorney for an eastern Iowa woman who is accused slitting the throats of her two sons, killing one and injuring the other, wants her trial moved out of Buchanan County. Michelle Kehoe of Coralville faces one count of first degree murder and another count of attempted murder for the alleged knife attack last October.
Kehoe’s attorney, Andrea Dryer, is asking the court to call a mock jury to see if potential jurors in Buchanan County could offer a fair trial. Dryer says comments on websites lead her to believe the trial should be moved. “Name calling, directing profanities at Mrs. Kehoe, expressing their opinions about what should be done to her,” Dryer said.
Kehoe attended today’s motion hearing, but did not speak. Assistant Attorney General Andrew Prosser, who is helping prosecute the case, said media coverage has been statewide so he believes a fair trial is just as likely in Buchanan County as any other county in the state. Prosser also asked the judge to extend a no-contact order between Kehoe and her surviving son to also include her husband.
Prosser says the meetings between Michelle and Eugene Kehoe are doing “incalculable” psychological harm to their son Sean. “There is potential harm in the fact that this now 7 or 8-year-old child knows that his father is going to see the woman who sliced his throat and his brother’s throat,” Prosser said. “I can’t begin to comprehend the kind of long term damage that fact alone could have.”
Buchanan County Judge Bruce Zager listened to the arguments and will submit a written ruling on the mock jury and no-contact requests at a later date. Another hearing is set for September 18th, while Michelle Kehoe’s actual trial is scheduled for October 28th.