By Diane Weaver

During a change of venue hearing yesterday in Grantsville, Judge Thomas Evans III ruled that Ronnie Rush will be tried in Jackson County.

The trial is scheduled to commence on May 29.

Evans also reduced Rush's bond to $125,000, cash or surety, with a provision if bond was met that he would be placed on home confinement.

The venue change was requested by Rush's defense attorneys, Teresa Monk and Rocky Holmes, after the Supreme Court ordered a new trial. (See earlier Herald stories)

Rush had been found guilty in Calhoun Circuit Court in December, 2004 of two counts of voluntary manslaughter in the double homicide of Ward Groves and his ex-wife Mary Hicks. Those convictions carry 3-18 year sentences each. He was also charged with other offenses.

Calhoun prosecutor Matt Minney contended Rush could receive a fair trial in Calhoun.

Testifying regarding media coverage and how it might affect public opinion in Rush getting a fair trial, were Helen Morris, publisher of the Calhoun Chronicle; Bob Weaver, editor of the Hur Herald; David Hedges, publisher of the Times Record-Roane County Reporter and Kim Parish, news director for WVRC.

Rush is being transfered from Central Regional Jail to South Central Regional Jail.