Four Men, Eight Women To Decide Mike Peterson's Fate
Posted June 11, 2003 4:14 a.m. EDT
Updated December 9, 2006 10:09 p.m. EST
DURHAM, N.C. — The jury box in the Mike Peterson murder trial is full after the prosecution and defense attorneys agreed on the 12th juror.
The 44-year-old black male was accepted by defense attorneys Wednesday morning. The jury is made up on four men and eight women.
"I think they got the best blend possible, considering the circumstances," attorney Butch Williams said.
The jury also has a racial makeup of three white jurors and nine black jurors. However, Williams does not think race will come into play during the trial.
"I've had good black jurors and bad black jurors and good white jurors and bad white jurors," he said.
The attorneys chose jurors with interesting backgrounds, as one woman is the wife of a former ACC basketball coach, one man has an extensive criminal past and another woman has a connection with Mike Peterson -- her father is Peterson's dentist.
Peterson is charged with the death of his wife, Kathleen, at the couple's Durham home in December 2001.
Judge Orlando Hudson also decided Wednesday that there would be four alternate jurors for the trial. Opening statements are not expected for another two weeks.
It took 28 days to seat the first 12 jurors in the Peterson case. It took 29 days to pick the first 12 in the O.J. Simpson trial. That number does not count weekends, only days court was in session.