EL RENO — Attorneys are asking a judge to move the murder trial for the ex-convict accused of strangling his girlfriend and her four children. The attorneys contend Joshua Steven Durcho, 27, cannot get a fair trial in Canadian County because widespread publicity has biased potential jurors. They also contend the community was overwhelmed by the five deaths. Attorneys made the request last week in a 422-page legal document that included dozens of newspaper and TV news accounts as well as comments on Internet sites. They contend potential jurors could have been exposed to Internet information such as comments on the Web site pysih.com, which is short for "People You’ll See in Hell.” One commenter wrote about Durcho: "Men like this need to die … just kill them. The sooner they are off the planet, the better.” "The Internet has become the new digital paparazzi,” they told the judge. "When the subject involves a high-profile criminal case, the frenzy only increases.” Durcho is accused of strangling his girlfriend, Summer Rust, 25; her daughters, Kirsten Rust, 7, Autumn Rust, 7, and Evynn Garas, 3; and her son, Teagin Rust, 4. Their bodies were found Jan. 12, 2009, in their El Reno apartment. District Judge Gary E. Miller has set a hearing for May 24 on the defense request. The trial now is set to begin Sept. 13. Defense attorneys told the judge the community outrage in Canadian County is so high it could be described as a "call for lynching.” "It is virtually impossible for a potential juror to possess an impartial frame of mind,” attorneys wrote. Attorneys contend jurors would be subject to slander, ridicule and possibly violence in the community if they acquitted Durcho or did not choose the death penalty. "Jobs might be threatened or lost. Friendships would be strained,” they told the judge.
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