Sunday, 25 February 2024

Hughes trial jury seated, change of venue motion filed

LAKEPORT – The selection of the jury for the Renato Hughes case has been completed, with the trial set to begin after the Thanksgiving holiday.


District Attorney Jon Hopkins reported Thursday afternoon that the main jury panel was seated, but that four alternates still needed to be selected.


Hughes, 23, is being tried for murder in the deaths of Rashad Williams and Christian Foster, who he was allegedly accompanying during a residential robbery in Clearlake Park on Dec. 7, 2005.


Williams and Foster were shot by homeowner Shannon Edmonds as they allegedly ran from his home. Hughes' presence with them caused him to be prosecuted under the provocative act theory, which holds him responsible for their deaths because he was allegedly taking part in a crime that could result in a lethal response.


With the jury seated, defense attorney Stuart Hanlon made a motion to have the trial moved from Lake County, said Hopkins.


On Wednesday, state officials with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People came to Lakeport to advocate for Hughes' release and a change of venue, as Lake County News has reported.


Also on Wednesday, NAACP attorney Stratton Barbee filed with visiting Judge William McKinstry an amicus brief in support of Hanlon's change of venue request.


Hopkins was set to begin his response to the change of venue motion at 1:30 p.m.


If the trial stays in Lake County, Hopkins said it will begin Tuesday, Nov. 27.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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