Jury picked in trial of Ramon Villa, one of four accused in Silverthorne sexual assault case
EAGLE— A subdued mood swept across the courtroom at the Eagle County Justice Center on Wednesday, as dozens of prospective jurors in the trial of Ramon Villa took to quietly chatting, reading and checking their phones in between intermittent announcements from the clerk coming out of the back room.
Villa, 42, is one of four men accused of sexually assaulting a woman too inebriated to consent inside his Silverthorne apartment on St. Patrick’s Day 2016.
As the jurors waited — some patiently, and some visibly annoyed at the plodding pace the second day of voir dire had taken — attorneys on both sides trudged through hours of individual interviews behind closed doors, prodding for potential biases that could unfold over the course of a complicated, and at times emotionally exhausting sexual assault trial.
Finally, after almost 16 hours of examinations over the last two days, a 14-person jury — eight women and six men — was selected. The rest of the room quickly cleared with the thanks of Judge Frederick Gannett, who lauded the 141-person jury pool for their patience, calling the sizeable turnout “extraordinary.”
With the jury set, the trial will begin in earnest on Thursday morning, beginning with opening arguments from Deputy District Attorney Lisa Hunt and Villa’s defense attorney, Stacy Shobe. Proceedings will begin at 8:30 a.m.