Updated: Friday, 27 Jul 2012, 5:28 PM CDT
Published : Friday, 27 Jul 2012, 10:31 AM CDT
MOBILE, Ala. (WALA - Defense Attorney Jim Sears said he hopes the trial for John Deblase is moved out of the area, saying it could be tough to find an impartial jury in Mobile County.
Deblase and his common-law wife, Heather Keaton, are accused of torturing, poisoning and then dumping the bodies of his two small children, Natalie and Chase, in two different wooded areas.
The bodies of the children were discovered in December 2010. Authorities said believe they had been dead for months.
Sears said he thinks there are a few factors that could taint a local jury, including media coverage and even his client’s own father, Richard Deblase.
“It’s not specially his (Richard) comments, but all the media coverage," Sears said.
“I have not said anything that wasn’t true,” Richard Deblase said.
In the months following the arrest of John Deblase, the children’s grandfather Richard publicly supported House Bill 348. The bill is nicknamed “The Grandparents' Law" and supports the visitation rights of grandparents.
"This is my client's father, and he obviously loves his son and cares about what happens to him. But he also loved his grandchildren, and (he was) hurt by the events that took place - their death," said Sears.
Richard DeBlase said he wants justice for his grandchildren.
“You’ve got to pay the pulper sometimes before you can repeat, and that is my feelings,” he said.
Sears said he plans to poll potential jurors ahead of the October trial date to find out what they think they may know about the capital murder case.
"What they have seen on television is not evidence. What they have read in the newspaper is not evidence. Only evidence is what appears in courtroom," said Sears.
Richard Deblase said a change in venue wouldn't keep him from hearing the evidence.
"If I have to hitchhike, I'll be there. Those are our grandkids. And what he failed to realize, is that our family used to be close," said Deblase.
John Deblase and Heather Keaton face multiple capital murder charges, and also abuse of a corpse.
Deblase's trial is expected to begin in October.
Keaton is slated for 2013.