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Man accused of killing Solvang mother, kids in Hwy 154 crash seeking to close case to the public

Man accused of killing Solvang mother, kids in Hwy 154 crash seeking to close case to the public

John Dungan

Dungan

An attorney for a man accused of killing a Solvang mother and two children in a fiery collision on Highway 154 has filed a motion seeking to close court hearings to the public, arguing that publicity could endanger his client's case. 

John Roderick Dungan, 28, of Santa Barbara is charged with three counts of murder in the deaths of 34-year-old Rebecca Vanessa Goss Bley and her children, 2-year-old Lucienne Bley Gleason and 4-month-old Desmond Bley Gleason, after he allegedly intentionally slammed his 2014 Chevrolet Camaro into the 2013 Chevy Volt driven by Bley on Oct. 25 near the Cold Spring Bridge.

Additionally, Dungan is charged with an enhancement of being on release involving a prior felony case. Dungan pleaded not guilty to all charges Nov. 20.

In his motion filed Wednesday, Dungan's attorney, Jeremy Lessem, asked for a protective order, arguing that media coverage of the case could taint a jury pool.

“It is my information and belief that if such media coverage continues, there is a reasonable likelihood that the dissemination of such inflammatory information will make it difficult to impanel an impartial jury and thus prevent the defendant from obtaining a fair trial,” Lessem wrote in the motion.

The motion will be heard at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 20 in Department 10 of Superior Court in Santa Barbara, when Judge Von Deroian is expected to make a ruling. 

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