Jury Selection Begins For Laney Trial - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

3/24/04 - Tyler

Jury Selection Begins For Laney Trial

  Jury selection is underway, starting in motion the trial of Deanna Laney. 
  Beginning Monday, Laney, a mother from Chapel Hill, will face a capital murder charge, and an injury to a child charge for stoning her three children, killing two of them. The case has received national attention. In fact, the nation will be able to watch the trial, live, on Court TV.
  Finding 12 jurors and two alternates to serve in a trial, may be difficult for Laney's lawyers and those prosecuting her. 700 Smith County residents were summoned Wednesday. If 14 people can't be picked to fill the jury seats, then another 500 will be summoned. 
  Court TV is expected to arrive on Sunday, putting two cameras in the court room. Media outlets from across the state, as well as national sources have requested credentials for the trial. Judge Kent issued a thick packet to all media members, including the indictments, the entire penal code, and special rules for name tags, media passes and dress codes.
  She has warned, violators of any of these rules could be held in contempt of court. It also includes a seating chart. Judge Kent has reserved seats for the media, for the families involved, for security, for the public, and even for students studying law. There is also an entire room in the courthouse for other media members not allowed in court, to watch the proceedings. 
  At the end of today's proceedings the jury pool was whittled down to 101.  Those remaining Jurors will report back to court Thursday morning at 9:30 to be interviewed individually by the lawyers.  Judge Kent told jurors this evening the trial is expected to last a week to a week and a half. Only a handful of jurors told the judge that length of time would cause a serious problem for them.

Kevin Berns and Morgan Palmer reporting
kberns@kltv.com  mpalmer@kltv.com

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