The news came down the wire that the trials of defendants Shannon Finley and Ryan Crostley will be held separately and in a town 40 miles outside of Paris, Texas--Sulphur Springs.
A Paris District judge ruled on March 12 to move the racially charged case away from the town that has been under the watchful eye of the country and parts of the world after the two White defendants were charged in the death of Brandon McClelland, a Black male.
Is this change of venue a surprise? During one of my follow up stories about this case published in The Final Call, I remember asking the attorney representing the McClelland family about the possibility of the case being moved. This is what he stated back in a December edition.
“Based upon the stand that has been taken by the family and others to bring attention to this case, don’t be surprised if the defendants now try to file for a change of venue,” said Attorney Daryl Washington to The Final Call. Mr. Washington further stated, "“Because the eyes of the nation are on this case, they may say their clients now can’t get a fair trial in Paris, Texas".
I spoke with Jacqueline McClelland, the mother of Brandon McClelland, on the morning of March 24. She stated that "I really don't know why they moved the case and I am waiting to hear back from Toby Shook now. I have to be honest with you, I really was on the verge of just giving up. I stopped eating for a while. But then I said to myself I got to keep fighting for justice for not only my son but for every child. Although they are trying to do a lot of silly reinvestigating--I am not going to give up."
She also stated that her health is better and asked that everyone continue to pray for her.
Look for more coverage on this in an upcoming edition of The Final Call. If you are new to this blog or even this case please click below and read the history of this case. Until then, let's fight on in our own communities where ever we are.
Jasper-style lynching in Paris, Texas? Activists demand hate crime probe into Black man’s horrific dragging death
Modern-Day Lynching?Activists: dragging death of Black man was murder
Grand jury indicts White men in dragging death