The jury for the retrial of New York socialite Claus von Bulow will not include residents of Newport, R.I., where he is accused of twice trying to kill his wife, Superior Court Judge Corinne Grande ruled yesterday. She said after a meeting with attorneys for the state and von Bulow that both sides had agreed that the panel would be chosen from Providence and Bristol counties. Jury selection is scheduled to begin April 8 in the Providence County courthouse.
Meanwhile, State Rep. Paul W. Crowley of Newport, who also heads the city's Tourism and Convention Authority, has introduced a bill to require that the trial be held in Newport.
Retailers in Newport have complained that their business will suffer if the trial is not held there, but Crowley has insisted that he was not motivated by economics. He said the bill instead represents his concern that trials be held in the location of the alleged crimes.
"I think the whole issue has been overstated," Crowley said. "A few of the restaurants right in the area of the courthouse, and certainly some of the hotels that put up the media people, they felt an impact from the first trial, which was held in Newport . But for most of the rest of the businesses in Newport, life went on."