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Change of venue approved, bond reduction denied for murder suspect

Boone County Judge Jeff Harris heard two motions in the case of Brandon Brill, who is charged with murder in connection to a fatal bus crash in September.

Judge Harris approved the defense’s motion for change of venue in relation to jury selection. The motion will only be for the jury selection and will keep the trial in Boone County. The jurors will be selected from Clay County.

Judge Harris denied the defense’s motion for a bond reduction.

The defense referenced the Adult Court Service’s recommendation of lowering the bond to “pretrial GPS home detention” instead of the current $1 million cash-only bond.

Brill’s mother was called to the stand and told the judge she would allow Brill to live with her if that motion was granted. She described the different family members who lived in the home and said they would be able to make sure Brill wasn’t driving. She also said Brill needs to seek medical treatment for the injuries he sustained in the crash and that by remaining in jail, he would not be as able to seek that treatment as he would be if he was at home.

The state questioned Brill’s mother about his criminal history, which includes multiple run-ins with the law in New Jersey, where the family used to live. The state said Brill’s current probation from Audrain County and arson warrant from Pennsylvania show he is a danger to the community. The state argued Brill is a flight risk due to his multiple failure to appears.

The defense asked the judge to follow the court’s bond recommendation, saying there is “no indication he intentionally” caused the fatal crash.

The state then referenced Brill’s previous repeated offenses of driving without a valid license, in 2010 and 2012, both of which happened while Brill was living in Boone County. Brill’s mother testified she was aware of those offenses against her son. Brill was also driving without a valid license during the crash, according to the state. The state said Brill has a “complete disregard for the law,” and that the injuries requiring treatment were caused by his actions and that the medical personnel at the jail should be able to arrange proper treatment.

After denying the motion for bond reduction, the judge told both sides to think about the future of Brill’s medical needs and the possibility of addressing them in the future.

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