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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Potential Sansom jurors grilled on coverage of case

18

March

The screening of potential jurors in the grand theft and conspiracy trial of Ray Sansom and Jay Odom is in its fourth hour, and lawyers for both sides are engaged in close questioning. As is common in criminal cases, potential jurors were asked whether they have been charged with a crime, had relatives or friends who went to prison or knew someone they felt was wrongfully charged or convicted of a crime.

One 54-year-old man, a stay-at-home dad whose wife is a doctor, was excused after he said his father took his own life and that he could not bear the knowledge that if he voted to convict Sansom or Odom it might cause severe emotional distress for either man's family.    

Odom's attorney, Jimmy Judkins, asked the nearly two dozen potential jurors whether they had Facebook pages, what newspapers they read, whether they ever wrote a letter to the editor or made campaign contributions and what TV news programs they watch. Only a handful said they subscribe to the Tallahassee Democrat.

When one woman said she used to read the St. Petersburg Times online edition, Judkins wanted to know if she recognized the name of the reporter who broke the Ray Sansom story.

"Do you know who Alex Leary is?" Judkins asked the woman.

"No," she said. 

  

[Last modified: Friday, March 18, 2011 1:34pm]

    

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