Live Blog: Hoonah homicide trial day 3
Posted on October 24, 2012 at 7:00 am
Category: Crime & courts, Syndicated
Estimated reading time: 0 minutes, 50 seconds
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Opening arguments are planned for Wednesday in the state’s case against John N. Marvin, Jr.
The 47-year old Marvin is accused of killing Hoonah police officers Matt Tokuoka and Tony Wallace in August 2010.
Thirty-six people were interviewed as potential jurors on Monday and another 54 were interviewed on Tuesday. The Juneau trial court system originally called 255 people in for jury service on Monday.
Of those interviewed, some were disqualified because they either exhibited a bias in the case or they did not have a solid understanding of the court proceedings. Potential jurors were specifically asked about media coverage and what they remembered from stories in the newspaper or on the radio over the last two years. Each person was interviewed individually away from the rest of the potential jury pool so that others would not be influenced by other recollections of the event.
You can review previous days’ proceedings in KTOO’s live coverage of the trial:
Opening arguments now scheduled for 9:00 am tomorrow or shortly thereafter.
Fourteen jurors now selected.
“Your honor, we’d like to thank and excuse Miss Doe.”
Ah, now the so-called “pre-empts” or peremptory challenges. Judge George just told everyone not to take it personally.
Another potential juror believes it’s only natural to judge other people based on appearances whether it is right or wrong. It essentially can’t be helped.
“I’m kind of surprised that the trial did not get moved out of Juneau…,” one potential juror begins to say. Brower objects, bench conference again.
Now he’s moved toward the other side.
Hedland is questioning potential jurors about what they know about intent and a person’s previous criminal history. But he seems to be talking only to jurors in the jury box. He has yet to engage the other half of the pool seated in the courtroom gallery.
All nearly-four-dozen people have filed back in. (There are a few empty seats in the courtroom now. Some of the potential jurors who asked to stay and discuss various personal issues in a closed courtroom are now gone.) Hedland has shifted to asking jurors what they know about the presumption of innocence and reasonable doubt.
Brower is currently looking for assertive jurors who would be willing to argue their side even if they are part of a very small minority in the jury room. Also, more questions about a jury’s responsibility and what potential jurors understand of the concept of ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’.
Brower is also asking if people would be disturbed if they saw certain pictures as physical evidence, what potential jurors would expect to hear, and their previous jury service. He also clarified that the judge would eventually impose any sentence — not a jury.
District Attorney Dave Brower warns that jurors may not hear evidence in a logical order.
Fifty potential jurors now seated. A few other dozen sent home for the day.
Judge and counsel now considering potential jurors who have travel or work commitments.
Court staff just rearranged some chairs and moved press and observers to the back of the courtroom. We’re waiting for the first group of potential jurors for general voir dire.
Motion was denied without prejudice. Hedland may be able to bring it up again later.
Change of venue motion denied.
“Don’t object when I’m talking,” says George while explaining his reasoning after Hedland tries to interrupt.
Former KTOO boardmember and current KTOO employee named as many of the potential jurors exposed to some sort of pre-trial publicity.
Judge David George is now going down his own list of excused jurors and pre-trial publicity.
Hedland is focusing again on the anonymous comments made on Juneau Empire articles as potentially soiling the jury pool.
Hedland wraps up after an hour and forty minutes. Brower is now arguing against moving the trial. He’s also citing the appellate opinion in the Harmon case.
“Most, if not all, of the panel has started from a presumption of guilt,” said Hedland.
Defense attorney Eric Hedland gestures while describing the bias of potential jurors during arguments over a possible change of venue. Defendant John Marvin, Jr. (left) reviews some documents while District Attorney Dave Brower (right) follows along with his own interview notes.
It sounds like Hedland is going through his entire list of potential jurors and all of his notes on them. He’s up to the M’s now. People were interviewed in alphabetical order on Monday and Tuesday.
Brower is following along with his own interview notes of potential jurors. He has yet to make his arguments to keep the trial in Juneau.
Hedland is going through his notes of interviews with potential jurors and naming those who recalled various media reports about the case.
Hedland says only seven out of ninety potential jurors have not heard anything about the incident or the case. Several people who expressed actual overt prejudice were excused for cause. Others who expressed some prejudice were eventually rehabilitated by District Attorney Dave Brower. No one had said anything favorable about defendant John Marvin. At least one potential juror had confused recent rulings about Marvin’s competency to mean that he was not insane.
Defense attorney Eric Hedland has started arguing for a change of venue or moving the trial to a different location. He’s referring to several previous cases including pre-trial publicity that surrounded the Harmon trial that was held in Juneau.
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