Pretrial Blansett hearing held this morning; jury selection process starts Tuesday

first_imgby Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — District Court officials are expecting around 100 candidates in the jury selection process of the Lindsey Nicole Blansett murder trial at the Sumner County Courthouse Tuesday morning.Of those 100 potential jurors, at least 42 of them will be selected for an interview, said Kerwin Spencer, Sumner County attorney. Then the judge, defense attorney and prosecuting attorney are expected to decide who will be the 12 jurors and two alternates, who will be seated to determine the fate of Blansett, 33, 0f Wellington who has been charged with premeditated murder. She is accused of killing her 10-year-old son Caleb at her home on Dec. 14, 2015.At the courthouse Monday, both Spencer and Blansett defense attorney Michael Brown met with Judge Scott McQuin during a pretrial hearing to go over the logistics of the trial which is expected to last into next week.Blansett was in attendance at the hearing Monday in her orange prison uniform and remained silent throughout the discussion.Brown said the jury selection could last two days through Tuesday and Wednesday. Spencer said he disagrees with Brown and expects the jury process could be wrapped up by tomorrow.“I could be asking for my first witness by 4 p.m. on Tuesday,” Spencer said.Spencer said the case will probably go into Monday of next week, and maybe into Tuesday or Wednesday.Security will be tight for the trial in which Blansett faces two felonies of premeditated murder and aggravated assault after being accused of using a rock and knife multiple times to fatally wound her son, Caleb, a Wellington Lincoln Elementary student while he was allegedly sleeping late in the evening last December.Those who come to the courthouse must adhere to various security measures including passing through a metal detecting device. Security officials at the courthouse are expecting a large number of media that could take up two rows on the bench.The hearing lasted two hours this morning and much of it surrounded logistics, including how to handle the media and jurors, what items can or cannot be allowed in the courtroom, and the scheduling of key witnesses. There was also discussion how many jurors will be interviewed. Some have already been deemed ineligible to serve, estimated at 30 percent of the pretrial questionnaires that were returned to the courthouse.Upon Brown’s request and agreed upon by the judge and prosecuting attorney, the two alternates for the 12-person jury will be considered “blind” meaning they will not know they are alternates through the proceeding.“That way they may pay attention more, thinking they are part of the 12-person jury,” Brown said.Follow us on Twitter.last_img

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