UPDATE: 14 jurors seated in Adam Lee Hall triple murder trial
SPRINGFIELD -- Day two of jury selection in Adam Lee Hall's triple murder trial ended with 14 jurors seated -- but one of those jurors may ask to be removed from service.
The morning in Hampden Superior Court began with the loss of a juror chosen on Monday after she told the court she learned someone she knew had ties to the Hells Angels and that a family friend in law enforcement had worked on the case. Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder excused her from service. The defendant is a former member of the Hells Angels.
On Tuesday afternoon, another female juror called the clerk's office and said she was having misgivings about sitting on the case after speaking with her husband. That woman will be in court next Monday to discuss the matter before Kinder, who is overseeing the case.
Kinder on Tuesday decided "out of an abundance of caution" to pick three more jurors, for a total of 17, in case the woman is released from duty.
Hall, 36, of Peru, is facing 22 charges, including multiple counts of murder and kidnapping from three separate incidents from 2009 through 2011. He allegedly beat David Glasser with a baseball bat in July 2009 in retaliation for a suspected theft and then tried to discredit Glasser as a witness by framing him for a fake armed robbery in New York state.
In August 2011, weeks before he was to testify against Hall, Glasser and his roommate, Edward Frampton, and their friend Robert Chadwell, all of Pittsfield, disappeared. Their dismembered bodies were found in Becket days later.
Prosecutors say Hall and two others kidnapped and murdered Glasser to prevent him from testifying. The other two were killed to eliminate any witnesses, prosecutors say.
Hall and his co-defendants, David Chalue, 46, of North Adams, and Caius Veiovis, 32, of Pittsfield, have strenuously denied the allegations and remain in jail without bail.
The trials were separated from each other, with Hall's case the first to be tried. Proceedings were moved to Hampden Superior Court in Springfield because of pretrial publicity in the Berkshires.
Jury selection was slow going at first as potential jurors were weeded out.
Among those not chosen for the jury were a man and a woman who said they knew Hall personally. The woman said she knew the defendant from local motorcycle events and wouldn't be comfortable sitting on the jury. The man said he was biased against Hall because of "past interactions." Hall looked surprised by this.
Others who didn't make it on the jury included a woman who said she has been "couch hopping," a man who said he was the follower of the infamous Satanist Anton LaVey and another who asked to bow out to take care of his geese and chickens. He was excused after admitting he wouldn't be able to fairly judge Hall's testimony if the defendant chose to take the stand.
Hall's attorney, Alan J. Black, once again renewed his motion to dismiss the entire panel, including seated jurors, after one potential juror told the court he heard about the case while sitting in the jury pool room when a news broadcast mentioned the Hall trial. On Monday, there were other related problems after one woman admitted telling other prospective jurors that she heard Hall was being housed at the Hampden County Jail & House of Correction and another woman said she and others had discussed the case in direct violation of the judge's order.
Kinder denied Black's motion, saying that the issue wasn't whether a juror has heard about the case, but whether they could overlook any reports and be a fair and unbiased juror.
By the afternoon, 14 people -- black, white, some younger, some older, and from a variety of backgrounds -- had been seated. Jury selection continues Thursday with the evidentiary portion of the trial set to begin next Monday.
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