FARMINGTON — The attorney for John Mayes will argue a San Juan County jury pool would be tainted and his client's case should be heard in McKinley County. Prosecutors say the case belongs here.

A motion for a change of venue hearing is scheduled Tuesday for Mayes, 18.

Mayes is accused of killing Dr. Jim Nordstrom with the thick end of a pool cue in June 2011.

"The newspaper, television and related internet media have been ranged firmly against Mr. Mayes from the beginning," Stephen Taylor, Mayes' attorney, wrote in his motion for change of venue. "The San Juan County jury pool must be presumed to be seriously tainted by information that would never be allowed as evidence at trial."

Deputy District Attorney Brent Capshaw said the district attorney's office isn't trying to publicize the case and there is no evidence Mayes couldn't receive a fair trial in San Juan County.

"We think the case ought to be tried where the crime occurred," he said. He added it would burden taxpayers to keep witnesses and the defendant in McKinley County for a murder trial.

Taylor included a 62-page collection of news articles about Mayes in his motion.

Mayes is the son of Farmington City Manager Rob Mayes; a fact not pertinent to the murder trial but common knowledge among potential San Juan County jurors, Taylor said.

"Controversy concerning Rob Mayes ... has clearly given this case a political charge and almost entirely to (John) Mayes' disadvantage," Taylor wrote.


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Nordstrom's history as an emergency room physician at San Juan Regional Medical Center for 16 years and additional charges Mayes received for allegedly plotting to escape from the Juvenile Detention Center is more Farmington chatter that hurts Mayes' chance of a fair trial in San Juan County.

"It's been printed, circulated and talked about but it doesn't have any bearing on the ultimate decision in this case," Taylor said.

Taylor also wrote in his motion the media ignored his client's claim the attack was provoked by sexual advances from Nordstrom, an allegation supported by a polygraph test.

Taylor previously tried to remove the San Juan County district attorney from the case. He filed a motion in December that said District Attorney Rick Tedrow harassed Rob Mayes, interfered with the defense and was fixated John Mayes move into the San Juan County Adult Detention Center when he turned 18 years old.

District Judge William Birdsall denied the motion.

If the venue was changed to McKinley County, the San Juan County District Attorney's Office would still prosecute the case. Birdsall would still be the judge in the case.

The jury would be comprised of McKinley County residents.

"We can presume these people have not been keeping up with Farmington news," Taylor said.