Timothy Joseph Buzbee's defense attorney said yesterday he is considering seeking to have two upcoming Aspen Hill rape trials moved from the Montgomery County Circuit Court where Buzbee has been found guilty of two other Aspen Hill rapes.
The attorney, Reginald W. Bours III, said "it is possible" he will seek a change of venue for the upcoming trials, scheduled for June 27 and July 18, though he added he has "by no means made a final decision" on whether he wants the cases tried in another Maryland county.
Bours has contended since last winter that the extensive publicity surrounding the rape cases might make it impossible to find a fair and impartial jury in the county. However, Buzbee was tried by Montgomery County juries in a robbery trial, in which he was acquitted last April, and his first trial on rape charges, in which he was found guilty. Buzbee chose to be tried by a judge in his last trial and was found guilty of raping and robbing a 38-year-old D.C. woman.
Bours indicated his intentions at a hearing yesterday before Circuit Court Judge John J. Mitchell, in which Bours attempted to block prosecutors from conducting a second test on body hairs that may be used as evidence in the upcoming trials.
Bours argued that prosecutors have developed a pattern of seeking "last-minute" examinations of evidence by experts that could have been conducted weeks or months earlier-developing trial evidence "which invariably enhances the state's case . . . and surprises the defense." Such evidence played a key role in Buzbee's two convictions.
Mitchell denied Bours' motion and will allow prosecutor Barry Hamilton to have an FBI expert compare samples of Buzbee's hair with hairs found on the rape victims to determine if they could have been his. The expert testified for the prosecution in the first Aspen Hill rape trial.