Once seated, the jury will be sequestered in the high-profile murder trial of George Zimmerman, the man accused in the 2012 shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, a judge said Thursday.
George Zimmerman, right, with jury consultant Robert Hirschhorn, responds to questions from Judge Debra Nelson about the jury selection process in Seminole circuit court during his trial, in Sanford, Fla., Wednesday, June 12. / AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank, Pool
The judge's ruling came during the fourth day of questioning jury candidates about what media stories they had been exposed to about the neighborhood watch volunteer's fatal shooting of 17-year-old Martin during an altercation in a Sanford gated community last year.
The trial is anticipated to last two to four weeks, Circuit Judge Debra Nelson said, less time than the anticipated four to six weeks.
The jurors will be "kept together with court security and not allowed to go outside the group except in special circumstances," defense attorney Don West said in court Thursday afternoon, speaking to a potential juror. West said that visitation with family would be allowed, but said the sequestration would mean the jurors "would not be able to participate in day-to-day activity." He said entertainment would be provided by court security, adding that it would be "something monitored."
Jury selection continued Thursday after Nelson's announcement.
Attorneys need 30 potential jurors to get past the initial round of interviews so they can ask them more in-depth questions about their views and life experiences. Four potential jurors were dismissed Wednesday, raising the total of jury candidates who have been disqualified to 75.
At the start of questioning Thursday, 20 potential jurors were in the pool of candidates to be interviewed in the next round.
Source: The AP