No change of venue for man accused of killing Arizona prof
TUCSON — A judge has denied a change of venue motion for a man accused of fatally shooting a University of Arizona professor on campus last October.
During a court hearing Tuesday, Murad Dervish’s attorneys said their client’s right to an impartial jury would be threatened if the trial was held in Tucson because of high public interest.
Pima County Superior Court Judge Howard Fell denied the motion after prosecutors said they believed the jury selection process would weed out any extreme prejudice in the case.
The trial is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 19.
Dervish has a status conference scheduled for May 8 with a pre-trial conference on Aug. 1.
The 46-year-old Dervish is accused of killing Dr. Thomas Meixner, who was the head of the university’s hydrology department and an expert on desert water issues.
Dervish had been a graduate student in the hydrology program before he was banned from the school in January 2022 and expelled six months later.
School officials said they took steps to keep Dervish off campus, including seeking charges for threats Dervish allegedly made against Meixner and others.
Scottsdale approves plan to restore nearby community’s water
SCOTTSDALE— Scottsdale city officials have approved a proposal that would temporarily restore the water supply to a nearby community.
The Scottsdale City Council on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution to support a joint plan with Maricopa County to provide water to unincorporated Rio Verde Foothills.
Scottsdale shared its water with Rio Verde until the city cut the community off Jan. 1.
Scottsdale argued the action had to be taken under its drought management plan to guarantee enough water for its own residents.
The council’s vote is the first in what will be an ongoing process of negotiations. County officials say they had little input in several aspects of the plan.
Under the new proposal, Rio Verde residents would have temporary access to city water for up to three years. The county would try to establish a moratorium on building permits in the impacted area.
Officials say the agreement is dependent on the city also getting more water resources from a third party.
The city would treat the water and make it available for delivery countywide.
The city would also get reimbursed for the costs from the county.
The county’s board of supervisors say they have some concerns including the source of the water and the costs.
Rio Verde residents went to Maricopa County Superior Court in January to request an injunction requiring Scottsdale to temporarily resume water-sharing.
A judge said the court could not step in on water policy decisions.