Change Of Venue Request, Appeal On Video Put Mirkarimi Trial On Hold

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Ross Mirkarimi

Ross Mirkarimi talks to reporters after a Family Court hearing in San Francisco, February 8, 2012. (CBS)

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Legal maneuvers by the defense put the hold on jury selection Monday in the domestic violence case against San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi.

Defense lawyers filed an appeal over last week’s ruling allowing a video of Mirkarimi’s wife, Eliana Lopez, and a neighbor to be admitted as evidence.

The appeal with a Superior Court Appellate Panel prompted the judge to issue a stay preventing the video which shows a bruised Lopez until the panel decides whether or not to overrule the decision that the video does not violate an attorney-client privilege.

Shortly thereafter, Mirkarimi’s defense team submitted a motion for change of venue – though that motion was filed under seal and the contents of it were not immediately made available.

Earlier, jury selection was put on hold after the judge dismissed some potential jurors for cause, then sent the remaining roughly 160 potential jurors home for the day. Potential jurors were ordered to come back Tuesday morning.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

Mirkarimi stands accused of three misdemeanors stemming from a New Year’s Eve incident involving his wife, Eliana Lopez. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Meanwhile – KCBS, CBS 5 and SF Chronicle Insider Phil Matier reported in Monday’s Chronicle that prosecutors have listed former longtime editor for the San Francisco Chronicle, Phil Bronstein, as a potential witness. Phone records reportedly reveal that he was in contact with Mirkarimi and Lopez’s neighbor, Ivory Madison, in the days after the alleged incident.

Madison is considered the prosecution’s star witness. She was the one who reported Mirkarimi to authorities – but not before she placed several calls to Bronstein.

Bronstein’s wife, Christine, is also listed as a potential witness in the trial. Madison and Christine Bronstein are said to be close friends.

Phil Bronstein was involved in his own high-profile domestic dispute with his former wife, actress Sharon Stone. Their divorce was a particularly public one, which included a nasty custody battle.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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