Update: Jury selection continues in 59th/Admiral shooting trial

October 16, 2008 8:02 pm
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 |   Crime | West Seattle news

gavel.jpgThis is the only West Seattle murder case from 2007 to go to trial – and that trial started this week with jury selection. WSB is covering the trial of the Alki 18-year-old charged with second-degree murder for the 10/13/2007 deadly shooting in a car at 59th/Admiral; we have not published his name since it emerged last fall that his defense focuses on a contention he was a longtime victim of sexual abuse. Here’s the update from our reporter on what happened at the courthouse today:

By Rachel Gabrielle
WSB contributing reporter

Jury selection for the 59th/Admiral shooting case continued today at the King County Courthouse.

Though it was expected to finish up this afternoon, the selection will continue into Monday as there were some courtroom capacity issues that caused a delay – relating to the fact there’s a jury pool of 100, and a courtroom with a capacity of 58, with some of the potential jurors preferring to be interviewed in private because of the nature of the questions.

All of the potential jurors will continue to be questioned by the prosecutor and the suspect’s defense team, who are all working on the defendant’s case pro-bono.

Because the suspect’s defense centers on an accusation of child sexual abuse, the potential jurors were asked questions regarding their opinions on topics like age of consent, circumstances in which someone might need to protect themselves, and whether or not it’s the victim’s fault if child sexual abuse goes unreported.

Additionally, they were asked if anyone was familiar with the Alki-area intersection where the incident occurred and asked to disclose any experience they or someone they knew had with similar accusations or crimes.

The defense did indicate that picking the right jurors is the most important part of any trial and have voiced confidence in their strategy and questioning (lawyer Robert Perez told WSB last month that the defendant “is not a felon and has no intention of becoming one based on the victimization that led to this tragedy”). Opening statements are expected to start Monday afternoon once the jury selection has been finished.

The suspect, who was 17 years old and living in the Alki area with his mother at the time of the shooting, has been in the King County Jail for a year, in lieu of bail that currently is set at $200,000, since surrendering to police in the days following the killing.

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