17 potential jurors advance in retrial of AJ Armstrong
As the retrial of Antonio “AJ” Armstrong entered its first week of jury selection, 17 potential jurors were individually questioned by prosecutors and Armstrong’s attorneys in Houston. It was reported that six members from the first pool of potential jurors were yet to be heard and were scheduled to appear before the court on May 8.
Throughout the week, a total of 29 potential jurors were interviewed, with varying ages and a higher number of women interviewed. The voir dire trial began on Tuesday, where the first prospective juror informed the lawyers that she was a fan of real crime shows such as ‘First 48’ and ‘Criminal Minds.’ Despite being aware of the case, she remained objective and “open-minded” during the trial.
On the following day, two individuals were exempt from jury selection, with one being released after he admitted that he “wouldn’t feel comfortable” convicting someone in a capital murder case, while the other individual claimed that “it’s terrifying to judge another human being.”
On Wednesday, a juror moving forward with the selection process revealed that she was not a fan of District Attorney Kim Ogg as she believed that Harris County was “too soft on crime.” Despite her personal opinion, she pledged to remain impartial during the trial.
During the same day, the presiding judge stepped in to verify the impartiality of a prospective juror who had already read about the case. The IT consultant was instructed to commit to the court’s requirement of separating the evidence presented from any information learned from prior cases.
Unfortunately, four people were excused from the selection process on Thursday morning. The first man disqualified himself from the jury pool when he stated that he believed Armstrong was guilty and could not stay impartial during the trial. Investigators have accused Armstrong, who was 16 at the time, of killing his parents Dawn and Antonio Sr. at their southwest Houston home in 2016. The accused has maintained his innocence through two trials.
The court plans to summon another group of 60 individuals to court on Tuesday morning to continue the jury selection process. The final selection of jurors will be held on May 31, and the trial will commence on June 5.
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