Jury pool shallow for Moreau murder panel
December 5, 2011
EAGLE, Colorado – Less than two dozen people showed up Monday morning in Courtroom Three, where they became the second round of potential jurors to be questioned.
From a pool of around 450 people called for jury duty, attorneys and District Court Judge Tom Moorhead were trying to select 12 jurors to decide whether Moreau is guilty or not guilty.
Moreau faces eight felonies in connection with a Nov. 7, 2009, shooting at the Sandbar in West Vail.
Monday’s group, 23 people, was much smaller than Friday’s overflow crowd that packed the courtroom. But even the two groups together were far short of the 450 summoned.
Jurors were asked for standard information: name, address, occupation, what they know about the case and how they know it.
At the top of one page appeared a long list of names, potential witnesses. Prospective jurors were asked if they knew any of them.
“I’ve known Rossi since 1974,” one of them whispered.
Like Friday’s crowd, Monday’s prospective jurors were instructed to check the court’s recorded message later Monday.
If their name had appeared on the recording, they were excused.
If not, they were to return Tuesday morning for further questioning by attorneys and Moorhead.
But after Monday’s ruling moving the trial, no one in Eagle County will be called.
Eventually, a jury outside Eagle County, but still within the Fifth Judicial District, will decide whether Moreau is guilty of first-degree murder and the seven other charges he faces.
The jury will not decide the penalty, Moorhead said. District Attorney Mark Hurlbert, who’s leading the prosecution, said if Moreau is convicted, he would not seek a death sentence.
If he’s convicted, Moreau, 64, will spend the rest of his life in prison with no possibility of parole, the automatic sentence for first-degree murder.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.