A Prince George's County judge has ordered that the trial of William Joseph Parker, the volunteer fireman charged with murdering 13-year-old Elizabeth Archard of Annapolis, be moved to St. Mary's County because of pretrial publicity.
Judge Howard S. Chasanow granted the change of venue because of widespread publicity about evidence that was ruled inadmissible by the judge in hearings last week, according to Parker's attorney, Fred W. Bennett.
"Any prospective juror in this country would know that there had been evidence suprressed, and what the evidence was," Bennett said yesterday.
Chasanow ruled that the state could not introduce as evidence the gun allegedly used in the killing, a ballististics report, and bodily hair obtained from Parker. Bennett argued that the gun and hair were seized illegally by the police.
Parker's trial also has been delayed until April 9, partly because the state is still waiting for FBI laboratory analysis reports on evidence. Bennett also has introduced several more motions that must be heard before the trial begins, including a motion to eliminate the death penalty as a possible sentence in the case, and a motion to supress testimony from two witnesses who allegedly saw Parker near the site where Archard's body was found.