Murder trial transferred to Pendleton judge

The switch entails a move from Hermiston to Pendleton for the trial of George W. Craigen.

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Legal proceedings in the murder case against George W. Craigen hit a snag last week after Craigen's defense lawyer, Karen Davis, requested Hermiston Circuit Court Judge Daniel Hill be removed from the case.

During a hearing Tuesday, Davis said her client, who is accused of the December murder of Cecil "Rob" Carter in his home in Milton-Freewater, did not believe he could receive a fair trial under Hill.

The trial was transferred to Judge Christopher R. Brauer in Pendleton, according to District Attorney Daniel Primus.

"It's not uncommon for a judge to be disqualified from a case," Primus said. "The standard for that is very low."

Primus added the defense did not have to give a specific reason to have Hill removed, but the move has delayed the case slightly. Craigen was scheduled to enter a plea March 9, but with the venue change, a plea hearing has not be reset.

"It's delayed it a little bit," Primus said. "A couple of weeks in the grand scheme of things is not a great delay."

Luke Hegdal can be reached at lukehegdal@wwub.com or 526-8326.

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