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08/11/10 — Countdown to a jury

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Countdown to a jury

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on August 11, 2010 1:46 PM

Jurors excused because of hardships:

* A white male was excused after he told the court he was hard of hearing, so much so that if selected, he could miss critical testimony.

* A white male was excused after he told the court that he is the sole provider for a household that includes four children. The truck driver said a lengthy trial would be detrimental to his family's well-being.

* A black female was excused after she told the court she is a stroke victim and felt that the stress associated with a high profile murder trial might create a major health problem.

* A white male was excused after he told the court that he is self-employed and simply could not afford to not work.

* A white female was excused after she told the court that the recent death of her son still lingers and that being in the courthouse and around law enforcement -- her son, she said, had problems with the law -- was causing her emotional strain.

* A black male was excused after he told the court that his only child was set to begin college next week -- the first in his family to do so -- and that it was a high priority for him to be there to help his son move in.

* A black male was excused after he told the court that missing work would be detrimental to his well-being. The majority of his salary, he said, comes from commission and missing sales opportunities would mean he would not have enough money to pay his bills.

* A white female was excused after she told the court that she did not feel "mentally competent" enough to sit on the jury, as she has problems retaining information.

* A white male was excused after he told the court that as a truck driver, he simply could not afford to be off the road for the duration of a trial expected to last at least a month.

* A white male was excused after he told the court that he is the sole employee at the store he owns. Without him there to work, the store, he said, would have to remain closed.

Those who remained after hardships were addressed by the court:

* A white male made it through the first round of the jury selection process after stating that while he has read and heard "bits and pieces" of information regarding the case, he felt he could be a fair and impartial juror.

* A white male was excused after he told the court he did not feel he could set aside his pre-conceived opinion about Laurean's guilt or innocence.

* A white male made it through the first round of the jury selection process after stating that while he had heard facts about the case on the radio, he did not follow media coverage or have an opinion about Laurean's guilt or innocence.

* A black woman made it through the first round of the jury selection process after telling the court that while she was "sad" to hear a young woman had allegedly been murdered, she has not followed the case closely. "I don't watch the news that much," she said.

* A white male was excused after telling the court he did not feel he could set aside his pre-conceived opinion about the case. "I think he's guilty," he said.

* A black male made it through the first round of the jury selection process after telling the court he did not watch the news regularly and was not aware of any details regarding the case.

* A white male made it through the first round of the jury selection process after telling the court he did not follow national media coverage of the case.

* A white male was excused after he told the court "it would be difficult" for him to set aside his pre-conceived opinion about Laurean's guilt or innocence.

* A white male who described himself as "not a big news watcher" made it through the first round of the jury selection process. "I don't have any specific knowledge," he said.

* A white male -- and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base airman -- made it through the first round of the jury selection process after he told the court that while he frequently watches both local and national news programs, "a lot of the news media will put their own spin on things."

* A white male made it through the first round of the jury selection process, despite a challenge made by Laurean's attorney, after telling the court his wife is pregnant, something he said could make him more sensitive given the fact that the victim was pregnant. He also stated that he had an "initial opinion" about Laurean's guilt or innocence, but pledged to be fair if selected.

* A white male made it through the first round of the jury selection process after telling the court that he knew little about the case. "I don't really watch TV much," he said.

* A white female made it through the first round of the jury selection process, despite a challenge made by Laurean's attorney, after telling the court that while she had formed an opinion about whether Laurean was guilty or innocent, she could still be fair and set her pre-conceived feelings aside.

* A black female made it through the first round of the jury selection process after telling the court she had been exposed to media coverage, but barely.

* A white male made it through the first round of the jury selection process after telling the court that he has not really heard anything about the case. "I never watch the news," he said.

* A black male made it through the first round of the jury selection process after telling the court that he had never heard of Laurean or the allegations made against him.

* A white male made it through the first round of the jury selection process after telling the court he had seen a few news stories relating to the trial, but had no opinion regarding Laurean's guilt or innocence.

* A black female made it through the first round of the jury selection process after vowing to give Laurean a clean slate, despite the fact that she had formed an opinion regarding his guilt or innocence when the story broke.

* A white female was excused after telling the court she was not sure whether or not she could set aside her pre-conceived opinions about the case, as she learned of the alleged crimes shortly after having a baby. "I personally don't know if I can," she said. "I was pretty upset by what I read."

* A white male made it through the first round of the jury selection process after telling the court that while he came in with an opinion, he could set it aside and be a fair and impartial juror. "I'll try to keep an open mind," he said.

* A white female made it through the first round of the jury selection process after telling the court she only "vaguely" remembered facts of the case she learned from media reports.

* A white woman was excused after telling the court she did not believe she could be impartial. "In all honesty, I think I have already formed an opinion," she said.

* A white female made it through the first round of the jury selection process after telling the court she had not formed an opinion regarding Laurean's guilt or innocence. "I don't really remember that much about it," she said. "I don't usually remember all that well."

* A white female made it through the first round of the jury selection process after telling the court she does not "really watch the news all that much."

* A black female made it through the first round of the jury selection process after telling the court she had only "caught a glimpse" of pre-trial media coverage. "I hardly ever watch TV," she said.

* A white male made it through the first round of the jury selection process after telling the court that while he was "upset" by the allegations, he believed he could be a fair and impartial juror if selected.

* A white female made it through the first round of the jury selection process after telling the court she had not formed an opinion on Laurean's guilt or innocence, despite the fact that she "heard people say ... they thought he was guilty."

* A white female made it through the first round of the jury selection process after telling the court she believed she could be a fair and impartial juror.

* A white female made it through the first round of the jury selection process after telling the court she did not "know that much" about the case.

* A white female made it through the first round of the jury selection process after telling the court she was not easily influenced by the media or other people. "You can't be influenced by people talking," she said.

* A white male was excused after telling the court he knew too much to be impartial. "I don't think I could be totally objective with all that I know," he said.

* A white female made it through the first round of the jury selection process after telling the court she has not been swayed by pre-trial press reports. "I pretty much make up my own mind about things," she said.

* A black male made it through the first round of the jury selection process after telling the court he had not formed an opinion regarding Laurean's guilt or innocence.

* A black male was excused after telling the court he was scheduled to begin classes at Wayne Community College next week.

* A white female -- and Cherry Hospital nurse -- made it through the first round of the jury selection process after telling the court that while she was "very sad" to hear about the victim, she was confident in her ability to be fair and impartial.

* A white male was excused after telling the court he was scheduled to begin classes at Wayne Community College next week.

* A white male made it through the first round of the jury selection process after telling the court he was not swayed by pre-trial publicity -- or his wife's opinion.

* A black male was excused after telling the court "it'd be hard" to set aside his opinion regarding Laurean's guilt or innocence.

* A black male made it through the first round of the jury selection process despite acknowledging that one three separate occasions, he watched America's Most Wanted specials on Laurean.

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