Grand Gateway Hotel owner asking for ‘change of venue’ in simple assault trial
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - One owner of the Grand Gateway Hotel was scheduled back in court Friday for a motion to change the venue of her trial.
Connie Uhre, the owner of the Grand Gateway Hotel in Rapid City, was charged with three counts of simple assault following the alleged spraying of disinfectant in the faces of protesters in the parking lot of the hotel in May 2022.
Uhre was not present at the hearing but the defense attorney asked Judge Scott Bogue for a “change of venue” due to pre-trial publicity.
Uhre’s attorney said although a change of venue is rarely granted in South Dakota, this case should be the exception because of social media. They cited several social media posts and comments including from Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender and a Custer resident as well as the numerous protests and boycotts of the hotel. They said because of the attention Uhre would be unable to have a fair and impartial trial in Pennington County.
The defense suggested moving the trial to Fall River County.
The judge took the request under advisement.
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