320 Potential Jurors for Huguely Trial Report to Duty
Hundreds of prospective jurors are being questioned in Charlottesville Circuit Court Monday. The court needs to find 14 people who can be fair to George Huguely. The trial needs 12 on the jury and two alternates just in case.
At issue: finding men and women who can sit down, absorb the evidence, and not let what they have seen on TV or read in the papers twist their opinions. The need for an impartial jury is the reason why double the normal amount of people were called to court Monday.
And now begins the process of weeding through who may sit on George Huguely's trial. A long line of people formed outside court Monday. The pool to pick 12 jurors and two alternates for George Huguely's first degree murder trial.
The 320 potential jurors have been called for the December term. They will serve a term that covers many trials, including Huguely's. To streamline the orientation process, the jurors had to be split into two groups.
"The reason we can't have everyone here at one time is because there is not enough capacity in the courtroom. The courtroom can't hold that many people," said Charlottesville Sheriff James Brown.
Jurors watched a video, got instructions and filled out a questionnaire prepared by Huguely's defense team and the commonwealth's attorney. Jurors faced questions about their exposure to the media, whether they know any of the witnesses and if they've formed an opinion about the case. Those answers will be kept under a court seal with only Huguely's lawyers and the commonwealth able to review them.
"Both sides will get the information and they'll have a month or two to figure out what it all means," said criminal defense attorney Lloyd Snook.
Because some jurors couldn't and didn't show up, an additional orientation day has been added. That will be on January 9.
Former UVA lacrosse player George Huguely is accused of killing Yeardley Love in May of 2010. The trial will begin February 6.