Flawed Process?

By  | 

The circuit court was partially through the jury selection process, when Waybright's attorney raised an issue about the selection process. The name of a juror who had been dismissed prior to the start of the trial was drawn from a list of potential jurors.

"Even one name in the can alters the people who are being chosen out of the box. It may not alter it a great deal, but it does. Is that prejudicial? I'm not sure," says George Cosenza.

Cosenza thought the start of testimony could be briefly delayed, but judge Jeff Reed decided to dismiss the jurors while the issue was resolved.

Judge Reed: It was discovered inadvertently that perhaps the procedure being used to select the jury, is not in conformity with the law.

Cosenza says the court clerk should be given specific instructions as to how to conduct the jury selection process. Assistant prosecutor Jason Wharton says the mistrial declaration will mean a new trial date will have to be set. It does not mean the case will have to be re-indicted.

Waybright was charged in May 2002 with 10 counts, including kidnapping and abduction, first-degree as well as second-degree sexual assault.