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Tuesday, March 12, 2019 3:09 pm

Judge denies out-of-county jury for toddler murder trial

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

A judge has denied a request from a man charged with killing a toddler to have his case heard by jurors from outside Allen County. 

Mitchell Vanryn, 28, is charged with murder, aggravated battery and domestic battery in the death of 2-year-old Malakai Garrett in 2017. Lawyers for Vanryn argued pretrial publicity in the case would bias potential local jurors. 

Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull rejected the claim in a one-paragraph order. 

"(Vanryn) has not shown the community prejudice exists which could prevent his obtaining a fair trial in Allen County," she wrote. 

Amber Garrett, 27, is charged with felony neglect in the boy's death, and Gull granted her request for out-of-county jurors after The Journal Gazette and WANE-TV published information from state reports detailing the alleged abuse of Malakai.

mleblanc@jg.net