SPRINGFIELD - The jury has been chosen in the murder trial of David Chalue and will soon begin hearing testimony in the case.
After two days of jury selection in Hampden Superior Court, 10 women and seven men were chosen to serve on what is expected to be a monthlong trial.
Chalue is facing multiple charges for allegedly kidnapping, torturing and killing David Glasser, Robert Chadwell and Ed ward Frampton, in August 2011 with Adam Lee Hall and Caius Veiovis.
Hall is believed to have killed Glasser to keep him from testifying against him in another case, while the other men were killed to eliminate any witnesses.
Two of the six jurors chosen today are black. Both told the court they could be fair jurors despite the fact that one of the victims, Chadwell, was black and Chalue is white and that there could be evidence at trial that Chalue was a member of the Aryan Brotherhood, a white supremacist prison gang. All the potential jurors were asked these questions.
After the 16th juror was chosen, Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder proposed getting one more juror to be on the safe side. Both Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless and Chalue's lawyer, Donald W. Frank, agreed. A woman was chosen as juror 17 Wednesday afternoon.
Only 12 jurors will actually decide the case. Four others will be alternates. Juror 17 will be excused once the jury is officially impaneled on Friday morning, according to Kinder. The judge wanted an extra juror in case one of the others has to be excused for any reason before the evidentiary portion of the trial begins.
The opening statements and the beginning of evidence in the case are scheduled to start Friday after Kinder postponed the start by a day at the behest of the DA. The request was due to the death of Willie Haywood Jr., a prosecution witness and longtime partner of Chadwell. The delay will allow friends and family - some of whom also are prosecution witnesses - to attend the funeral on Thursday.
Haywood testified at Hall's trial. In February, Hall was found guilty of multiple charges and sentenced to three consecutive life sentenced plus 42 years.
Chalue has denied three charges each of murder, kidnaping and witness intimidation. His trial was moved from Berkshire County due to pretrial publicity.
Veiovis, who has denied similar charges as Chalue, is scheduled for trial Sept. 2.