LOGAN, W.Va. — The trial which will determine Jonathan Porter’s criminal culpability in the attack on senator Richard Ojeda is reportedly changing venues.
Both judges in Logan County recused themselves from the case, and Kanawha County circuit court judge Louis “Duke” Bloom was tapped to hear the case.
Bloom reportedly made an oral order the trial should be moved out of Logan County.
The beating took place the weekend before West Virginia’s May 10 primary.
Porter is alleged to have brutally attacked Ojeda at a cookout while Ojeda applied a bumper sticker to his car.
Ojeda was hospitalized for days and had to undergo surgery to overcome his injuries.
Ojeda has said he believes the attack was politically motivated.
Chief Judge Eric O’Briant first sent an administrative order to the circuit clerk’s office saying the case should be assigned to the other judge in West Virginia’s seventh judicial circuit, Joshua Butcher.
Butcher later sent a letter to the West Virginia Supreme Court officially recusing himself from the case.
When Porter was arrested, he was initially placed on $75,000 cash bail, but his bail was eventually reduced to $25,000 surety.
Porter is free while awaiting trial which will reportedly resume April 10, 2017.
Owen Wells is a reporter for a Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 or by email at [email protected]