Monday, February 25, 2013

Tim Smith jury being chosen

Jury selection started in the Timothy Smith murder trial today. Smith is on trial for the murder of Kurt Milliman in May 2011 and has been held in the McHenry County Jail since then on a $900,000 bail.

As is a defendant's right, Smith was present in the courtroom when the jury was selected. Of the first 15 jurors questioned, seven were excused, and eight were chosen as qualified to serve by 3:30PM. Jury selection continued. The trial is expected to take up this week and could end by Thursday, if weather doesn't interfere and cause an extension.

Prospective jurors were excused by Judge Prather and by request of the assistant public defender and the assistant state's attorney.

I shall not comment about the jurors who were excused or qualified until the conclusion of the trial, and possibly not even then.

Jurors were asked if they knew anything about the case or the accused; some acknowledged that they had heard of it, mostly from newspaper reporting shortly after it happened.

Judge Prather is very specific and methodical when she questions a prospective juror. Her questions are clear and complete, and it should be easy for a prospective juror to answer. She speaks in a clear voice and loudly enough to be heard throughout the courtroom.

If jury selection is completed today, then the trial will begin in opening statements tomorrow morning at 9:00AM in Courtroom 304. The prosecution has subpoenaed Smith's wife, Kimberly Holian Smith, to testify, and Judge Prather granted her use immunity last week. According to the State's Motion, if Kimberly Smith refuses to testify, she may expose herself to being found in contempt of court.

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