AUSTIN (KXAN) — A request to move the trial for Christopher Taylor, the Austin Police officer charged with murder in the death of Mike Ramos, out of Travis County was denied during a hearing Friday.

Taylor’s attorneys filed a motion to request a change of venue in July, claiming the case is too widely known locally for an impartial jury to be selected.

Taylor is accused of shooting and killing Michael Ramos, 42, during a confrontation with police in a south Austin apartment complex parking lot in April 2020.

APD said on that day, officers responded after a 911 call reported someone dealing drugs in a car and that the man had a gun.

APD said when officers arrived at the scene, Ramos was directed to get out of the car.

After getting out of the car, police say the incident escalated and an officer hit Ramos in the thigh with a non-lethal bean bag round.

Ramos got back in the car and tried to drive away and that’s when police say Taylor fired his weapon.

Taylor is currently on administrative leave from the department.

In court Friday, Judge Dana Blazey ruled the defense did not succeed in proviing the courts could not find a fair jury in this case.

Difficulty selecting a jury for the Christopher Taylor trial

In May, a judge granted the defense’s motion for a mistrial following several snags in the jury selection process.

The court chose from jury pools of 80 and 50, and could not find enough eligible jurors to sit on the case.

“What you’re looking for are 12 people who are gonna be fair. It could be that due to pre-trial publicity, there are a number of people who have already heard about the case, who have already formed an opinion one way or another,” said Alan Bennett, a former Travis County prosecutor not affiliated with this case.

Jury selection was ahead of Memorial Day Weekend, and some hold-ups with jury selection stemmed from jurors’ availability. Judge Dayna Blazey expects the trial to last 3-4 weeks. The next crop of potential jurors will be informed from the onset that the trial could last about a month.

Since the trial will remain in Travis County, the court will call larger jury pools in hopes of more quickly seating a jury.

DA’s Office: 2 prior Travis County cases were granted change of venue

According to the Travis County District Attorney’s office – as far as the current administration knows – only two cases have ever been granted a change of venue in Travis County.

They were both in the 1990s: the official misconduct case for former State Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison as well as the capital murder case of serial killer Kenneth McDuff.

According to several Texas Monthly reports, he was convicted in 1966 of killing three teenagers; and due to a 1972 Supreme Court ruling finding the death penalty unconstitutional, he eventually got out. The publication further reports that once out, he killed again, before ultimately being executed via lethal injection.