- Associated Press - Monday, June 1, 2015

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Attorneys for former executives charged in a chemical spill again said they can’t draw an unbiased West Virginia jury.

In a Charleston federal court hearing Monday, attorneys for ex-Freedom Industries executives Gary Southern and Dennis Farrell argued for a venue change, citing a survey they commissioned.

They said news coverage of the January 2014 spill factored prominently into why most potential jurors surveyed considered defendants probably or definitely guilty. The defense suggested relocation to the Carolinas.

Prosecutors said defendants haven’t reached the bar for relocation.

Separately, Judge Thomas Johnston said he’ll soon rule on a motion to remove U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin’s office from the case.

Freedom’s spill prompted a tap-water ban for 300,000 people for days.

Southern and Farrell face federal pollution charges. Southern faces additional bankruptcy fraud charges.

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