ST. JOHNSBURY (AP) - A Vermont judge is considering a change of venue request by a Waterford couple due to go on trial separately for the kidnapping and killing of a popular St. Johnsbury prep school teacher.

Allen Prue, 31, and his wife Patricia Prue, 34, appeared in court Friday in St. Johnsbury.

The Prues are facing 1st degree murder charges for allegedly kidnapping and killing 33-year-old Melissa Jenkins on March 25, 2012. Prosecutors say they lured Jenkins from her Danville home, strangled her and dumped her body in the Connecticut River.

They have pleaded not guilty and they are being held with bail.

According to reports, defense attorneys say the case has been reported extensively by local media outlets, including some that would bias potential jurors.

"If this case isn't ripe for transfer then what case would be?" said Patricia Prue's attorney Brian Marsicovetere.

But Caledonia County State's Attorney Lisa Warren said there was no evidence the pre-trial publicity would make it impossible to pick an impartial jury.

"I don't think we should jump the gun here," she said. "We should determine if there's evidence of (jury pool) tainting in this county before we move it."

Judge Robert Bent will rule whether to move the trial at a later date.

The attorneys have been told to be ready for trial by May 1.


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