Wesson Trial Preparations Continue

ABC30 News/January 4, 2005

More is now known about questionnaires potential jurors in the Marcus Wesson mass murder trial will have to fill out. The judge refused to delay the case on Tuesday, despite a defense request for more time to prepare.

This week, potential jurors will receive a summons in the mail and can expect to be asked more than 100 questions.

More than 2,000 people will be called as potential jurors in the Marcus Wesson mass murder case.

All will have to fill out a 16 page questionnaire. Some of the questions will include:

How many times have you been married?

If anyone is living in your home, what is his/her relationship, age, gender, occupation or area of study? And, at the defense's insistence, what is your religious affiliation?

Wesson is charged with the murder of nine of his children last March. Police say they were shot to death during a custody dispute.

From the beginning of the case, the defense has claimed Wesson didn't commit the act and blamed his daughter Sebrena.

Defense attorney Ernest Kinney says the prosecution will have to prove Wesson was somehow involved, and religious affiliation of potential jurors is important, "That he guided the shooter, and maybe there's a certain religious aspect there that can come into play, that he had control and guidance over this person."

The judge is putting restrictions on how the media will cover the trial. He's considering restricting recording devices or cellular phones, not allowing bags, packages or briefcases inside the courtroom, and logos or insignias on clothing.

The judge is expected to rule on the media restrictions next week.

As of now, the Marcus Wesson mass murder trial is set to begin with jury selection January 25th.

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