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Attorneys Have More Questions for Potential Jurors in “Highway Shooter ” Case.
29 year old Charles McCoy faces potential jurors each day as they’re questioned about their views on pre-trial publicity and capital punishment. He faces a possible death penalty if convicted of charges alleging he fired a bullet across the south outerbelt in November of 2003 that killed a Washington Court House woman.
To get a fair trial, defense attorney Mark Collins says its necessary that 40 or more of the panelists be cleared for more specific questioning beginning next week.
“You need at least 32 to even start the general voir dire. However, based on the various levels of experience in the courtroom we’ve come to a decision that mid forties to that level would be a more comfortable area because some people undoubtedly will be challenged for cause during general voir dire, meaning that there’s isues in their lives that they bring to the table that may affect them with regards to other parts of the case not just capital punishment or media.” Collins said.
Franklin County prosecutor Ron O’Brien has said that he thinks the McCoy case will turn on mental health issues. Defendant McCoy has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. So, the prosecution is expected to thoroughly question jurors on mental health issues.
“In this case particularly there are views on expert witnesses particularly psychiatrists or psychologists. Secondly, I think the defense of insanity any particular views they may have pro or con on that and from our standpoint most particularly their understanding that that is unlike most cases where the prosecution has the burden of proof the defense actually has the burden of proving a defense of insanity and proving it by a preponderance of the evidence.” O’Brien said.
Eventually, twelve jurors and two alternates will be chosen to serve on the McCoy case jury. Opening arguments are planned for the middle of next week.