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Accused killer of Elwood police officer requests trial be held outside Madison County

Noah Shahnavaz carnation
Posted at 8:39 AM, Sep 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-09 08:40:39-04

ANDERSON — An attorney for the man accused of killing an Elwood police officer in July has requested that his trial be held outside Madison County due in part to potential jury bias and hostility.

A motion for a change of venue filed Tuesday by Carl Roy Webb Boards II's attorney seeks to have the trial held outside of Madison County, claiming he wouldn't be able to have a fair trial there in the case alleging he killed Officer Noah Shahnavaz.

"(Boards) is currently housed at the Madison County Jail for 'safekeeping,' with the reasonable interference that the Madison County populace is biased against (Boards), and thus, (Boards) is unable to receive a fair trial in Madison County, Indiana," the motion states.

The motion also claims Boards wouldn't be able to receive a fair trial because of "public hostility against the accused; public outrage over the offense; prejudicial news-reporting or editorializing which castigates the accused; speculative opinions as to the personality and character of the accused; disclosures of inadmissible evidence; and the existence and contents of confessions, or prior criminal records."

RELATED | What we know about the man accused of killing Elwood Officer Noah Shahnavaz

A hearing on the motion will be held Sept. 30 at Madison Circuit Court during Boards' previously scheduled pre-trial conference, according to online court records.

Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings has said he'll seek the death penalty against Boards, who, according to court documents, fired at least 36 rounds at Shahnavaz during an attempted traffic stop July 31, fatally wounding him.

Court documents also say Shahnavaz never had a chance to unholster his own gun during the encounter. Shahnavaz, 24, was an Elwood police officer of 11 months and a five-year army veteran.

RELATED | Everything we know about fallen Officer Noah Shahnavaz

During an investigation, police discovered Boards was known to carry a handgun and had recorded songs in which he said, "if he was ever caught by police that he would kill them," documents allege.

Boards is charged with one count each of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and two counts each of resisting law enforcement.

Records show Boards has several previous criminal convictions, including attempted murder stemming from a 2006 encounter with police.

WRTV has reached out to Boards' attorney, Joe Duepner, for comment.