Trial begins in fatal accident case

CAMDEN COUNTY — The murder case of a Jefferson City man, which ended in a mistrial in mid-September, began its two-day jury trial Thursday at the Camden County Courthouse on Thursday on a change of venue.

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The change of venue was granted by Cole County Presiding Judge Pat Joyce after Damien Bryan’s lawyer, public defender Heather Vodnansky, argued it should be granted because many people in the jury pool picked to hear the case knew of her client or his family.

Joyce remained as judge at the trial in Camden County, and a 12-member jury was selected Thursday morning. Following opening statements, Special Prosecutor Amanda Grellner presented seven witness testimonies and Vodnansky presented one witness testimony for the defense.

A Cole County grand jury last October indicted Bryan, 41, on two counts of second-degree felony murder, for the deaths of two other drivers in an Aug. 31, 2011, accident on Route C at the South Country Club Spur.

Bryan was charged with killing Donald A. Edwards, 58, Russellville, and Joan D. Hamilton, 75, Lenexa, Kan.

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