Rooney trial moved from Burlington to Rutland, Vt.

While the defense in the Brian Rooney case has struggled to win many hearings, they won one earlier this week.Brian Rooney, the alleged killer of UVM student Michelle Gardner-Quinn, and his defense team won a hearing this week that asked for the trial to be relocated out of Burlington because of the large amount of media coverage surrounding the case.Gardner-Quinn, 21, went missing in October of 2006 after allegedly asking Rooney to borrow a cell phone. Her body was found days later by hikers in Richmond.The trial against Rooney, who has pleaded not guilty to the rape and murder charges, has been moved to the southern Vermont county of Rutland.Michael Kupersmith, the judge for this case at Chittenden District Court on Cherry Street, made the ruling last week after defense lawyer David Sleigh asked for the case’s relocation.”There exists in Chittenden County so great a prejudice against the Defendant that he will not be able to obtain a fair and impartial trial here,” Kupersmith said.”The Court cannot recall a crime that has been reported as intensively or extensively as this one,” he said. “The Court concludes that the aggregate effect of the coverage results in prejudice.”Because the case has been so highly publicized by local media such as the Burlington Free Press and WCAX, the trial had to be moved to ensure an unbiased jury.Rooney is currently struggling with the decision of whether or not to fire his lawyer David Sleigh in favor of another lawyer.In a court hearing on Friday, Rooney testified that he has not been able to get involved with the case and Sleigh is not listening to him, according to the Burlington Free Press.Kupersmith has allowed until April 14 for Rooney to make a decision, according to the Burlington Free Press.As of now, the trial is set to begin on May 13 at Vermont District Court in Rutland.