Faces of Andrew Thomas Gallo
Faces of Andrew Thomas Gallo

Andrew Thomas Gallo Can't Get Fair Trial in Angels Country, Claims His Lawyer

The attorney for Andrew Thomas Gallo, the 23-year-old San Gabriel resident facing second-degree murder and other charges in the crash that killed Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart and two others, has filed a motion to move the trial out of Orange County.

The Orange County Register has the scoop.

The 30-page motion argues that an impartial jury cannot be found "so long as that trial (is) held in view of the Big A."

The District Attorney's Office and a lawyer representing the families of the victims oppose moving the trial, according to Register court reporter Larry Welborn.

Superior Court Judge Richard F. Toohey has scheduled a July 16 hearing on the motion. That's about two weeks before the trial is to begin.

Gallo's attorney, Jacqueline Goodman Rubio, wrote Welborn an email after filing the motion that stated, "To the rest of the nation, Nick Adenhart was 1 of 750 Major League Baseball players, but to residents of Orange County, he was 1 of 25 Angels. Bottom line: You can't kill an Angel and expect to receive a fair trial in Orange County."

Rubio added that the news coverage of the tragedy "has been pervasive, continuous and hostile."

Hours after Adenhart pitched six shutout innings for the Angels on April 9, 2009, he was riding in a Mitsubishi Eclipse driven by 20-year-old former Cal State Fullerton cheerleader Courtney Stewart when the car was broadsided by Gallo's minivan.

Fullerton Police later said Gallo ran a red light--and had a blood alcohol level that was more than three times the legal limit. He also had a prior DUI conviction.

Adenhart, Stewart and 25-year-old passenger Henry Pearson were killed, while fourth Eclipse occupant Jonathan Wilhite, a 24-year-old former Cal State Fullerton Titans catcher, suffered what doctors called internal decapitation. He is still recovering from his injuries.

Gallo has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. If he is convicted on all counts, he could get 50 years to life in state prison.


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