Five days pass and still no jury for Hastings trial
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - Five days are in the books for jury selection in the manslaughter trial of Josh Hastings and still no jury is sworn in.
After court recessed Friday there were still only five members seated for the trial, but the selection process is set to resume Monday morning.
Friday brought another day of investigating by Judge Wendell Griffen and each legal counsel, into those of the 29 remaining from Thursday's panel, who said they had heard or read about the case.
After lunch, around 30 members that remained from Monday and Tuesday panels entered the gallery of the courtroom, joining the others from Thursday. Several members from Thursday's group were released after a cause strikes from both legal sides, but defense attorney Bill James admitted to being disappointed at a few of the judge's decisions.
"Well, there have been some we have objected to, and some we have not objected to," James said. "We've got some issues with it, but again that is the judge's job. Our job is if we don't like it to object."
Throughout the week more than 200 potential jurors have entered the courtroom to possibly serve on this trial, and as of Friday afternoon less than 40 remained.
Much of the lengthy process can be attributed to the concern by the court of bias in this high-profile case. The questioning for potential jurors has primarily been based on how much they know about the previous trial, and media reports.
According to James, Judge Griffen told each legal team they would not need witnesses for testimony before noon on Monday, which means the selection process is expected to take up much of Monday morning.
"We were certainly hoping we would get this done this week. We really want to get this trial in front of a jury by Monday. I think that no matter what, we'll get some part, even if it's just opening statements on Monday, but it's been a long week."
Jury selection is expected to resume at 10 Monday morning.
The five seated so far include two white females, one black female and two white males.
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Hastings jury down to 5 as selection process continues (Sept. 19)