The Norman Transcript

Crime/Courts

June 11, 2013

Prosecutors begin jury selection in manslaughter case

NORMAN — Prosecutors began questioning individuals called in for jury duty on Monday to select a jury for a manslaughter trial in Cleveland County District Court.

Defense attorneys will continue the questioning at 9 a.m. today in District Judge Tracy Schumacher’s courtroom. Twelve jurors will be chosen from the group of nearly 25.

The State’s prosecution lawyer asked the individuals questions pertaining to the case to try to choose an impartial jury for both the state and the defense.

Some of the questions included whether any of the individuals had been involved with criminal cases; if they could listen to people’s testimonies, even if those testifying had made bad choices in their lives or if they didn’t like their appearance; whether they owned guns and, if so, how to handle them; and if they had ever been shot or seen anyone shot before.

Somewhat of a curveball came from one of the potential jurors when the courtroom learned he had seen someone shot before and had been shot himself.

The individual said he had gone up the street to watch a fight when he was 14, during which someone shot a gun. The man said he believed a fragment of the bullet ricocheted and hit him in his lower rib. The man never went to the hospital or told family or police about the incident.

The same man also said he had seen one of his high school classmates get shot in the head by a gang member as he and a friend were leaving a party. The man said he never talked to police because of fear of the gang member, but he said the gang member was later killed.

Everyone in the courtroom seemed to be relieved when the man said the incidents occurred where he grew up in Los Angeles.

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