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Day Five of Jury Selection for the Cal Harris Murder Trial

Posted:
More time is needed to select alternate jurors for the Cal Harris murder trial.

Thursday marked day five of jury selection and more alternate jurors are still needed before opening statements can begin.

Harris is the Owego man accused of murdering his wife Michele in 2001.

With Wednesday's selected jurors of three men and one woman, there was a full jury plus two alternates.

But as of this Thursday morning, we were told that the woman who was selected yesterday is no longer able to serve, which brought the number of seated jurors down to 12 jurors and one alternate going into today's selection.

As for today, less than 43 people reported to Judge Bartlett's courtroom this morning. That's the lowest number we have seen during these five days of jury selection. After many were released for hardship reasons 16 were left after the lunch break.
When those 16 were asked if they had seen media coverage of the trial, 8 indicated they had, and were individually questioned by the defense, prosecution, and the judge in closed chambers.

After six out of eight of those potential jurors were released--only nine were left to begin questioning.

Out of those nine, only one man was selected to serve as an alternate juror. This puts the number of selected jurors back at 12 jurors and two alternates.

Because of the length of the trial, which Judge Bartlett predicts will be between 6-8 weeks, the court will continue to secure alternate jurors, meaning there will be a 6th day of jury selection on Monday, February 2nd. The judge did say that it is likely the court will begin opening arguments Tuesday if enough alternate jurors are chosen.