A former military cadet accused in a love-triangle killing wants to bar a TV station from airing a movie about the case before her trial, saying it would influence prospective jurors.
Diane Zamora’s attorneys asked Monday to delay the broadcast of “Love’s Deadly Triangle: The Texas Cadet Murders,” in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The movie is slated for Feb. 10 on NBC.
“She wants a fair trial and that’s that,” defense attorney John Linebarger said. “She doesn’t want to be tried on a made-for-TV movie during ratings week.”
KXAS calls the lawsuit an unconstitutional suppression of free speech.
Zamora, a former Naval Academy midshipman, and David Graham, an ex-cadet at the Air Force Academy, are charged with murder in the December 1995 shooting of Adrianne Jones, 16.
Prosecutors say Zamora and Graham, both 19, knocked her over the head with a barbell, shot her in the head and left her in a field after Zamora found out Graham had a fling with the girl on a school bus.
The former cadets have no trial dates, although Judge Joe Drago has said that Zamora would be tried first, probably this summer. Drago was expected to rule on the defense request today.
Linebarger called prominent Fort Worth defense attorneys Ward Casey and Tim Evans, both of whom testified that the movie could taint the jury pool.
“If she’s got one or two jurors sitting in that box that have seen this movie, I don’t think she’ll get a fair trial,” Casey said.
KXAS countered that less than 15 percent of the county’s jury pool would watch the program, leaving more than 1 million potential jurors who hadn’t seen it.
“Among the million people who haven’t seen the movie, Zamora oughtn’t have any trouble finding 12, just 12 to decide the case fairly,” said the station’s lawyer, Peter Kennedy.
NBC’s senior vice president for movies, Linda DeKoven, said the true-crime murder movie has a noble purpose: Showing it might prompt people to think about “what we can do to prevent it from happening again.”