The trial of Kevin Cooper, who is charged in the Christmas Eve automobile deaths of five members of a Montgomery County family, has been ordered moved from Carroll County because of publicity about the case.
Judge Donald J. Gilmore, who denied a defense motion last April to relocate the trial, agreed to move the trial Monday after attempting for three days to pick an impartial jury.
In a statement released through his secretary, Judge Gilmore said the location and date of the trial will be made public on Thursday.
Cooper, a 26-year-old carpenter from Glen Burnie, was arrested on Dec. 24 following a head-on collision with a car driven by Margaret Proctor near Mount Airy.
Five members of Proctor's family, including two sons and three grandchildren, were killed in the widely publicized accident. Proctor, who lives in Clarksburg, and two daughters were injured.
Cooper faces a variety of charges in the case, including driving while under the influence of alcohol, homicide by automobile while intoxicated, and automobile manslaughter.
In denying the change of venue motion last April, Judge Gilmore said it would be difficult to find any area that has not been touched by publicity about drunken driving.
Cooper's lawyers had presented the judge with 174 newspaper articles and five television reports, many of which referred specifically to the Cooper case, that had circulated throughout Maryland since the accident.