Trial Date Set for Man Accused of Choking Police Officer

By Vanessa Miller, Reporter

IOWA CITY, Iowa - The attempted murder trial of a 20-year-old former University of Iowa student accused of choking an Iowa City police officer in November was scheduled this morning to begin May 14 in Tama County District Court.

Branden Plummer's pre-trial conference is scheduled for May 4. Plummer's request that his trial be held in another district was granted based on his argument that media saturation in Johnson and Linn counties would make it too difficult to seat an unbiased jury.

All of Plummer's hearings before the trial will be held in Johnson County District Court.

Last week, Judge Paul Miller denied Plummer's motion to dismiss the attempted murder charge based on a lack of evidence. The judge also denied Plummer's request to assign the Iowa Attorney General's Office to prosecute the case because it involves local law enforcement and the Johnson County Attorney's Office has a "clear" bias.

Plummer, of Urbanddale, is accused of choking Iowa City police Sgt. Brian Krei until he passed out near the corner of Burlington and Linn streets on Nov. 18, according to a criminal complaint. Krei had stopped Plummer for blocking traffic at the intersection, according to investigators.

Plummer, who also faces a willful injury-bodily injury charge, is accused of choking Krei and hitting his head on the concrete, according to police.
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