VENTURA, Calif. -

An attempt to disqualify the chief prosecutor in Joshua Packer's murder trial has been turned away by an appeals court.

An attorney for Packer wanted Deputy Chief District Attorney Michael Frawley removed from the case because Frawley's children knew Packer and went to the same religious youth group years ago. 

A denial for the request was handed down by the Court of Appeals this week.

Packer was a star athlete at Ventura High School, graduating in the mid 2000's.

He is accused of a fatal stabbing in Ventura County's Faria Beach neighborhood in 2009.  Brock and Davina Husted and their unborn child were all found dead inside their home. 

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.