DURHAM, N.C. — A Durham judge excused 22 people Monday from serving on the jury in the Mike Peterson trial.
Peterson is on trial for the December 2001 death of his wife, Kathleen. Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson told 124 potential jurors that the jury selection phase of the trial is expected to be long and tedious. He also told potential jurors that the trial could last as long as three months.
Due to the potential length of the trial, both the prosecution and defense attorneys, along with the judge, agreed that each day of the trial, testimony should only last four hours from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
When Hudson asked the potential jurors if they had a reason why they could not serve, nearly half of the jury pool raised their hands, giving a variety of reasons ranging from child-care concerns to caring for sick relatives. The judge is hearing about each person's concern for not being able to serve on the jury on an individual basis.
Jury selection in the trial is expected to take a couple of weeks.