Change of venue hearing for Drew Blahnik

Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 3:05 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The attorney for a man accused in a 2018 murder in Linn County wants his trial moved out of Linn County. Drew Blahnik’s defense attorneys are requesting a change of venue for his trial following the death of Chris Bagley.

Following a criminal investigation, the sheriff’s office said Drew Blahnik has been indicted by a grand jury on charges of first-degree murder, obstructing prosecution, and abuse of a corpse.

Today the judge heard from both Blahnik’s defense and prosecutors about moving the trial out of Linn County.

Blahnik’s attorney says media coverage of the investigation will make it impossible to find an impartial jury.

But Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden argued coverage hasn’t been out of the ordinary compared to any other murder trial.

The judge did not make a decision at this afternoon’s hearing.

Blahnik is charged with first degree murder, after investigators found Chris Bagley’s body buried behind a Cedar Rapids home last year.

Bagley went missing from his home in Walker, Iowa, on Dec. 17, 2018. Authorities found his body in the backyard of a home in southeast Cedar Rapids home on March 1, 2019. An autopsy showed he died from multiple stab wounds.

In a separate federal court hearing last year, officials testified that Blahnik confessed to stabbing Bagley.

His trial is set to begin in February.

Copyright 2020 KCRG. All rights reserved.

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