Chippewa County (WQOW) – The man accused of killing three Girl Scouts and a mom pleaded not guilty on Friday afternoon in Chippewa County Court.
One dozen people showed up to support Colten Treu while half of the courtroom was filled with family and friends of the victims who lost their lives.
There were a lot of tears when Treu pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
A judge scheduled a trial for January in Chippewa County Court.
Treu is charged with 10 felonies – including four counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and four counts of hit and run.
After Treu pleaded not guilty his attorneys said media coverage hurt his ability to get a fair trial in Chippewa County and requested the case to be moved to a different county.
District Attorney Wade Newell disagrees.
“Where do they think in the state of Wisconsin they’re going to find this county where they have no idea that this situation existed?” Newell questioned
Judge James Isaacson made the decision to keep Treu’s trial in Chippewa County saying family and friends of the victims don’t need the inconvenience of traveling to a different county.
Judge Isaacson said if they’re not able to find unbiased jurors in Chippewa County then they will discuss bringing in jurors from another county.
Prosecutors say Treu and his passenger were huffing a can of air duster when the truck went off the road and hit the Girl Scouts troop as they picked up roadside littler. Three Girl Scouts and a mother died. Another Girl Scout was hurt.
Police said Treu then drove home and went out to a party.
If Treu is convicted he faces more than 280 years in prison.
As News 18 has reported, Treu’s attorney wanted to move his trial to a different county because they believe the media coverage has affected his ability to get a fair trial.