The attorney for Jason L. Avis has requested a change of venue for his client.
The 29-year-old Avis is charged with leading a Hodgenville police officer on a fatal vehicle pursuit on Sept. 16, 2012.
Public defender Landon Tingle believes his client can’t get a fair trial in LaRue County due to publicity. He filed the motion Feb. 18 in LaRue Circuit Court and the Commonwealth Attorney’s office has one month to respond.
Circuit Judge Charles Simms III will make a decision following the Commonwealth’s response.
Avis was indicted on charges of wanton murder, first-degree wanton endangerment, first-degree fleeing or evading police, leaving the scene of an accident and first-degree persistent felony offense.
He allegedly operated “a motor vehicle in excess of posted speed limits and in a reckless manner and thereby causing the death of Mark Allen Taulbee.”
According to Kentucky State Police, Avis led Taulbee on a vehicle pursuit on Ky. 210 during which the officer lost control of his cruiser and later died from injuries sustained in the crash.
Avis fled the scene but turned himself in several hours later at LaRue County Detention Center, according to KSP.
Taulbee allegedly signaled for a gray Nissan Altima to pull over after hearing reports of a domestic disturbance at a Hodgenville apartment. The driver, believed to be Avis, allegedly refused to pull over and Taulbee called in a pursuit to dispatch.
The cruiser spun and struck an earth embankment, ejecting the officer, who was wearing a seatbelt.
Taulbee’s death and funeral received extensive news coverage from newspapers, television and the Internet.
“For a small county’s that’s not often on the news, this case has garnered quite a lot of attention and undoubtedly the community has taken notice,” Tingle wrote in his motion.
Avis is lodged at the LaRue County jail under a $1 million cash bond.