BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Almost as soon as they began, half the jurors were ineligible.
That’s already shown jury selection in the case of Jeffrey Basil — a man accused of shoving a national guardsmen down the stairs of a Buffalo bar — isn’t going to be an easy task.
Basil is charged with murder, manslaughter and tampering with evidence for his alleged shoving of William Sager, a 28-year-old who was also in Molly’s Pub.
Although Sager spent months in an intensive care unit, he lost his battle to his injuries. Months later, the trial is only beginning.
A judge sat down Monday to facilitate the selection of jurors. The first question was how many of those people had heard news about Basil’s case in the media. Nearly all of the 70 selected jurors raised their hands.
Those jurors aren’t immediately disqualified for their service, but in order to sit on a jury they’ll need to have the ability to remain neutral.
The judge’s next question was just that — how many jurors could shut out the news and listen to new facts from the beginning?
Thirty-one potential jurors said they couldn’t guarantee their fairness and objectivity in the case.
They were immediately excused.
Selection will likely not finish until Wednesday, mostly due to how many jurors have heard outside information.
Now with 39 jurors left, they’ll whittle down those who have heard too much into a suitable panel.