Fields Trial Day 3: Final Jury Pool Selected
Lawyers and court officials continued to interview potential jurors all day Wednesday as James Alex Fields, Junior's trial entered its third day in Charlottesville Circuit Court.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Lawyers and court officials continued to interview potential jurors all day Wednesday as James Alex Fields, Junior's trial entered its third day in Charlottesville Circuit Court.
Just before 6 p.m. Wednesday, November 28, he final pool of 28 qualified jurors was selected. The pool was picked from roughly 360 people. Of the final 28 jurors, 12 will serve on the final jury and four will serve as alternates.
Lawyers on each side will pick six people to strike from that 28 selected in order to get to the final jury. That process will be taken up by attorneys Thursday morning.
Judge Moore took a moment Wednesday to warn people in the jury pool of a robocall. Officials did not provide details, only that the judge asked them to disregard the message.
“It’s probably less important for the jurors, but it should be of great concern to the criminal justice system as a whole. And obviously, at this point, that’s the kind of call that seems just designed to stir up trouble with the case,” said legal analyst Lloyd Snook.
NBC29 obtained a recording of the robocall, which included racist remarks and false claims in connection with events related to the trial. It does not appear that jurors are being specifically targeted by the recording; rather, they're just being caught up in a mass-robocall blast.
“In a way, it kind of helps to be able and to talk openly about the anti-Semitism, about the racism that this kind of call embodies, because, again, that’s sort of the elephant in the corner of the room. It’s the thing that nobody really wants to talk about, but here’s a chance to talk about it openly, and I think we have a better chance of getting a fairer verdict if we can talk about that openly,” Snook said.
Fields is charged with first-degree murder, five counts of aggravated malicious wounding, three counts of malicious wounding, and failing to stop at an accident involving a death. The charges stem from a car attack against a group of counter demonstrators marching in the area of Fourth Street against the Unite the Right rally on August 12, 2017. A medical examiner ruled Heather Heyer died due to blunt-force injury from that car attack, while dozens suffered various injuries.
Fields also faces dozens of federal charges for the same incident.