The Norman Transcript

Crime/Courts

June 12, 2013

Jury selected in manslaughter trial

NORMAN — Twelve jurors were chosen Tuesday to serve on a manslaughter trial in Cleveland County District Court.

Ten potential jurors were excused around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday after the defense attorney, David Smith, questioned the 22 who were selected Monday. Smith questioned the potential jurors to determine if they would be able to set emotions aside to judge the case against 21-year-old Cole Hopper, who is being tried for second-degree murder.

Smith’s questioning included asking what the potential jurors believed their job would be as a jury in a criminal case; if the members close with law enforcement officials would be able to judge the case fairly; how much the members knew about guns; if seeing photos of a gunshot wound would cause them to be biased; what causes people to not tell the truth; and what they would think if the defendant didn’t testify in the trial.

Smith also asked the potential jurors what they knew about a drug called Opana. All of the jurors who had said they work in the medical field either as nurses or with pharmaceuticals said they had not heard of the drug, except for one pharmaceutical technician who said she had heard of it but was still fairly new to the drug, which she said is rarely prescribed.

When Smith asked potential jurors how much they knew about guns, most of them said they owned guns either at the present time or had in the past. He asked about a specific kind of small caliber gun and if the jurors had experienced problems with similar guns. Several jurors said they had had problems with that kind of gun getting jammed if it wasn’t cleaned properly or if they used cheap ammunition.

“Accidents happen, even with firearms,” Smith said.

He then asked if potential jurors thought having an accident with a firearm would make it a crime, to which many answered it would not always make it a crime, depending on the circumstances.

Six alternates were chosen Tuesday afternoon to serve in the place of any jurors who have to be excused during the trial due to certain circumstances.

Opening statements for the trial will begin at 9 a.m. today in District Judge Tracy Schumacher’s courtroom.

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