Local News

Jury Selection Moves Slow In Deputy Murder Trial

Posted October 14, 2004

— Jury selection in the trial of a murdered Wake County deputy is moving slow.

Lawyers on the Matthew Grant case questioned more than two dozen potential jurors over the past week, but they have only selected two. Grant is charged with murdering Deputy Mark Tucker in February.

Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby said it is hard to find impartial jurors in the high-profile case.

"It is important to seat a jury that's fair and hasn't decided one way or the other, but the process is tedious and you get weary after a couple of weeks," he said.

Attorneys want jurors who are aware of what is going on in their community, but knowledge can be a double-edged sword. Several potential jurors admitted reading a Sunday newspaper article profiling Grant.

"One problem you run into is those jurors are the ones who sometimes form opinions or have read things about the case, so it's very difficult to get good jurors in a high-profile case," defense attorney Rick Gammon said.

Jurors in the case are being asked if they could put their personal feelings aside and use the law to consider the death penalty if Grant is convicted. Officials also said another problem is few people can afford to spend up to a month on a jury.

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