Washburn County (WQOW) -- On Friday, a Washburn County judge ruled that Doug Nitek, the man accused of killing Rusk County Sheriff's Deputy Dan Glaze in 2016, will stand trial in Rusk County.
Nitek's lawyers argued the trial should be moved because media coverage of the 2016 shooting would hinder a jury's ability to issue a fair ruling. They also said they would struggle finding a jury because of rural Wisconsin's tight-knit nature.
But, the judge countered that that's not the press, that's the reality of living in a small community.
"The death of anyone in a small community where that deceased person is active in the community impacts the community," Judge Eugene Harrington said. "Simply because it's small, and we know other people's business, they know ours, and that's what a small community is about."
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The judge said jury members will have to fill out a questionnaire before being selected, to make sure they aren't connected to either the defendant or the victim and will be able to remain unbiased. Though the defense knows that will be a challenge.
"The severity of this offense is exacerbated by the fact that he's a law enforcement officer that was killed," Nitek's attorney, Richard Jones, Sr., said in court.
The judge said he wouldn't move the trial from Rusk County because of publicity but would consider changing venues if it turned out not to be secure for either Nitek or the jury. Ultimately, he decided to keep the trial in Rusk County and have the jury sequestered throughout.
As of now, Nitek's trial is slated to run December 11-22, but the judge did discuss delaying it until after the holidays. That decision was never finalized. Judge Harrington did rule, however, that Nitek will stay in Barron County and be transported to Rusk County for the trial.
Nitek will be back in court in October for a review hearing.