Attorney wants church shooting trial moved

June 12, 2008 6:20:39 AM PDT
Defense attorney Michael Applebaum is seeking to have the trial of a Bucks County woman charged in the shooting death of a fellow church member heard by residents of another county.

Sixty-five-year-old Mary Jane Fonder of Springfield Township is scheduled for trial Aug. 25 in the January shooting death of 42-year-old Rhonda Smith in Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Prosecutors say she had romantic feelings for the pastor and was jealous Smith was getting attention from him.

Applebaum says media coverage is turning the case into a "soap opera." He also seeks to have statements state police say Fonder made about "warm" and "sexual" feelings for the pastor suppressed from the trial.

First Assistant District Attorney David Zellis says he is reviewing Applebaum's motions.

Information from: The Morning Call,