Judge Denies Change of Venue in Green Trial - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Pocahontas, AR--Bob Snell Reports

Judge Denies Change of Venue in Green Trial

January 16, 2004--Posted at 7:30 a.m.

POCAHONTAS, AR--Judge Harold Erwin heard 8 motions on behalf of Charles, also known as Chad, Green during Thursday's 6 hour hearing at the Randolph County Courthouse. 

 Charles Green and his father Billy are set to got to trial in March for the 1998 c harged with four counts of murder and one count of kidnapping for the death of Carl Elliot, his wife and two children, back in 1998.

Judge Erwin denied a motion to move the trial to Jackson county, saying he didn't have to give a reason.

Then later in the day we discovered the details of what K8 News first told you Wednesday night, that back in August, Chad Green had cut a deal with prosecutors.

In that plea agrement Chad Green would be offered a lesser charge of two counts of first degree murder and given two consecutive 25 year prison terms, with the possibility of parole after serving 35 years.

In return Chad would have to confess to the crimes, provide evidence, provide other witness names, testify against his father, and take a polygraph to prove he's telling the truth.

After signing the agreement, Chad then made a video taped statement in which he admitted to being present at the scene of the killings.

The sister of murder victim Carl Elliot says those are the words she's been waiting to hear for more than five years.

"Now seeing it in court, it's a big weight lifted off me. I know we still have a long road ahead of us. But it's a big weight lifted off. You now we've been through so much," said Kathy Hart.

But Charles Green's attorney is asking the judge to supress his client's statement made after that agreement and another statement made the night of his arrest.

Green wants to withdraw his plea agreement and take his chances with the jury, because he believes his arrest in Missouri and extradition to Arkansas was illegal.

"He was arrested in a state of Missouri without a warrant. There had been a probable cause finding but they did not bother to get an arrest warrant. Then they take him front of a magistrate in Missouri and imply there were charges in Arkansas, but there were no charges in Arkansas on july 31st," said Larry Kissee, Green's attorney.

But prosecutor Henry Boyce said, "we had properly executed probably cause affadavits which Arkansas allows, in lieu of warrants. At the time those were executed formal charges were not filed. In Arkansas law they are not required to be filed before an arrest is made."

Also in testimony Chad Green claimed his signed agreement and taped statements were obtained only after being threatened with death by investigators and his former lawyer, Roy Meeks.

But the investigators, Randolph County Sheriff Brent Earley and Meeks, all said that's just not true.

"if he wants to come into court and testify to those facts, a jury is entitled to listen to his testimony and they'll hear the testimony of the officers and the jury decides," said Boyce. 

Judge Erwin won't rule on the motions to suppress Green's statements until next week.

On Friday, Chad's father, Billy Green, will be in the courtroom where Judge Erwin will hear the 18 motions filed by his attorney.

 

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