Greitens’ defense team requests trial by judge again due to ‘constant negative publicity’

ST. LOUIS — The defense team representing Governor Eric Greitens is again asking the judge presiding over his criminal invasion of privacy case to waive a jury trial.

In a 14-page motion made on behalf of Greitens Friday, defense lawyers pleaded with St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison to issue a bench trial.

“Gov. Eric Greitens was hopeful that a fair and impartial jury could be impaneled. However, the constant negative publicity about Gov. Greitens has destroyed any chance of obtaining a fair jury,” the motion said. “The stories are untrue, they leap to conclusions based on witnesses not subject to cross examination, and they will be refuted at trial.”

Burlison already denied a similar motion from the defense team’s request to trial by judge on March 26.

The motion comes a day after the Missouri Legislature announced a special session to hold possible impeachment hearings against the embattled Rpublican governor beginning on May 18.

Greitens is also facing more backlash from a report issued by the the House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight claiming Greitens lied to the Missouri Ethics Commission about taking the donor list and using it to raise campaign funds.

Greitens is accused of allegedly taking a picture of a bound and partially nude woman with whom he was having an affair with at the time and threatened to blackmail her if she made the affair public. The trial is set to begin May 14.

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