More jurors needed to hear murder case
Nineteen more residents have been handed summonses to appear in Carson City court today as potential jurors in a 1998 murder trial in its fourth day of jury selection.
Nearly 50 of the original 120 people summoned failed to appear Monday when jury selection began in the case against Rocky Boice Jr., 25, accused in the 1998 beating death of Sammy Resendiz.
Boice, along with nine others, is charged with murder with the use of a deadly weapon, battery, burglary and conspiracy to commit battery.
The trial was delayed two years by a Supreme Court appeal on the first-degree murder charge.
By Wednesday afternoon, with the dismissal in the morning of 11 for cause, only 12 of the 70 potential jurors remained after both the prosecution and defense exercised their right to excuse eight jurors without cause.
Two of those jurors may be released today because of health issues.
Opening statements are expected to begin this afternoon, after a jury of 12 and three alternates is seated.
Judge Michael Griffin took the blame for the difficulty in seating a jury.
“I summoned enough jurors. What I did not anticipate was the high number that could not be served or would not appear,” he said Wednesday morning. Citing medical operations, caring for sick spouses, financial hardship and prepaid vacations, Griffin said he rethought the dismissal of those already excused and believed all of those reasons were “compelling.”
“It’s my fault, plus the fault of having a trial this time of year,” he said.
A jury is expected to be seated before lunch today and opening arguments should begin, Griffin said.
The trial is expected to last three weeks.
If found guilty, Boice faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. If the jury returns a guilty verdict in this case, they will also be tasked with determining Boice’s sentence.
The nine other defendants — Julian Contreras, Lew Dutchy, Clint Malone, Frederick Fred, Jessica Evans, Jaron Malone, Elvin Fred, Sylvia Fred and Michael Kizer — will be tried during the next seven months.