- Associated Press - Saturday, March 19, 2016

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Lawyers have worked out final details ahead of the first-degree murder trial for Alexander Kozak, accused of fatally shooting a woman inside Coral Ridge Mall last summer.

Kozak, 22, appeared in a Linn County courtroom Friday for his pretrial hearing, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported (https://icp-c.com/1Vns4e4 ). His trial is set to begin April 12 and is expected to last two weeks.

The trial was moved to Story County after Kozak’s attorney argued that media attention made it too difficult to find an impartial jury in eastern Iowa.

Kozak is charged in the death of 20-year-old Andrea Farrington. Farrington was shot three times in the back on June 12 while she worked at an Iowa Children’s Museum information kiosk in the mall. Police say Kozak told officers he “snapped” after getting a text from the woman that said she was breaking off their relationship.

At Friday’s pretrial hearing, Johnson County Attorney Janet Lyness and Kozak’s lawyer, Alfredo Parrish, agreed that Farrington’s family will be allowed to be in the courtroom for the trial.

“I do appreciate very much, and the family does as well, that they would be able to sit in on the whole trial and not be sequestered,” Lyness said.

Lyness said she might call one family member as a witness to provide short testimony.

Parrish raised the concern that potential jurors will find information online about Kozak before the trial. A judge said he would warn the jury pool not to research the case ahead of or during the trial.

“If I see a cellphone out during any point in the courtroom, nobody gets a cellphone,” District Judge Christopher Bruns said.


Information from: Iowa City Press-Citizen, https://www.press-citizen.com/

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