Huguely Trial Day 1: Jury Selection
After a year and a half of investigating and legal maneuvering, George Huguely's first-degree murder trial got underway in Charlottesville Circuit Court Monday. Huguely walked into the court room looking thinner, pale, and wearing a coat and tie. He pleaded not guilty on six felony charges.
Huguely is charged in connection with the death of University of Virginia lacrosse player Yeardley Love in May 2010.
The first step in the process is selecting a jury. Monday lawyers on both sides are looking for someone who can be fair and impartial. The questions being asked deal mainly with alcohol consumption, domestic violence, media exposure, relation to police enforcement, and any bias formed.
Lawyers need to seat a 12-person jury with three alternates. Out of 40 potential jurors that were questioned Monday, 21 people have been cut and 19 have been retained.
All potential jurors have been instructed to not speak to the media.
Lloyd Snook, a Charlottesville criminal defense attorney said, "You don't want somebody who either, because of life experiences, let's say they had a situation of domestic violence in their own background, some reason why they already have a firm belief of how they would want to have the case decided."
All potential jurors have filled out a written questionnaire. Both sides have had access to the answers in an effort to streamline the selection process.
The trial started at 9:30 Monday morning. They will reconvene at 9:00 Tuesday morning to question the next pool of 40 potential jurors. The goal is to retain eight potential jurors to reach the 27 needed to enter final cuts. During the final cuts, both sides will be able to strike six potential jurors for any reason other than those based on a person's protected status.