Jury selection enters third day today
August 28, 2002
Attorneys plan to continue today to wade through a pool of prospective jurors who will be asked to determine the fate of a Carson City man accused of murder.
From the 120 residents called to serve on the jury, about 70 of whom showed up on Monday, defense and prosecuting attorneys whittled the number to 35 by Tuesday afternoon.
Rocky Boice Jr., 25, along with nine others, is charged with murder with the use of a deadly weapon, battery, burglary and conspiracy to commit battery, in the 1998 motel-room beating of Sammy Resendiz, who later died from his injuries. The trial was delayed two years by a Supreme Court appeal on the first-degree murder charge.
At least nine more jurors were excused Tuesday for reasons ranging from employment to bias.
“I’m not sure I could honestly say I could believe wholeheartedly in (law enforcement),” said one woman. She said she had unpleasant dealings in the past with the Carson City Sheriff’s Department and District Attorney’s Office.
One man was excused after he admitted he would be hard pressed to believe the police were mistaken if they had issued a warrant.
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“They don’t give you an arrest warrant for nothing,” he said.
Three others were dismissed because they said they couldn’t be replaced at work.
One woman tearfully told the judge that her son, who is in the military, was going to Afghanistan in December and he could visit her only for a week in September.
“Go home and take care of your son,” Judge Michael Griffin said gently.
Today, each side is allowed to excuse eight jurors without reason.
If both sides excuse the allotted 16, and six others are dismissed with cause, fewer than 13 jurors will remain. That means another handful of potential jurors will be summoned. A jury of 12 with at least one alternate is needed.
Griffin said this is most jurors he has ever excused for employment reasons.
Tuesday’s hearing was without the protest by Native Americans in support of Boice that had accompanied the first day in court. All the remaining defendants in the trial are Native American.
Defense attorney Day Williams told the judge he had asked the protesters not to come to the courthouse Tuesday.
“I asked them to leave because so many jurors were intimidated by them,” he said.
Griffin assured the potential jurists the protesters were harmless.
“Some of them I’ve known practically my whole life,” he said.