Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Delgado jury pool narrowed by conflicts, exposure to publicity

TAMPA — In the death penalty trial against Humberto Delgado Jr., accused of killing Tampa police Cpl. Michael Roberts, jurors were questioned Tuesday about their exposure to pretrial publicity about the case.

Of 150 questioned, 69 said they had outside knowledge of the case. Lawyers on both sides brought in the potential jurors, one at a time, and asked what they knew.

One was the daughter of Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputy Mark Longway, who was killed in a car accident in Tampa on Sept. 21, 2010.

She cried as she disclosed that to the judge and attorneys, and said she had spent time with Cpl. Roberts' family at a memorial.

Minutes after she was dismissed, another potential juror got some bad news: A family member had died. Attorneys agreed to let her go, and she, too, left in tears.

Others were dismissed for more expected reasons, including financial and personal hardships they'd face if they had to serve in a three-week trial.

By the end of Tuesday, a total of 68 had been cut.

Some questioned about pretrial publicity knew lawyers planned to use mental illness as a defense. Some said they had relatives in law enforcement and could not be fair and impartial. One had the case confused with that of Dontae Morris, accused of killing two Tampa police officers last year.

One woman appeared on the verge of tears as she told lawyers she would have a hard time deciding whether Delgado would live or die.

Jurors will be questioned about other issues, like the death penalty and their views on the criminal justice system. On Monday, a public defender who spoke up in court noted a potential juror had complained online about jury duty before selection began. That potential juror said on Facebook that anyone who would make him wake up that early was guilty. He remains in the pool, but there is much eliminating still to do.

Jury selection could last all week.

Alexandra Zayas can be reached at or (813) 310-2081.

Delgado jury pool narrowed by conflicts, exposure to publicity 11/01/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 5:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review: Nick White's 'How to Survive a Summer' takes on homophobia at its worst


    Will Dillard's summer camp experience is a real horror movie.

  2. Southwest Airlines to offer flights from Tampa to San Diego


    TAMPA — Southwest Airlines will offer new nonstop service from Tampa International Airport to San Diego International Airport beginning Jan. 8, 2018.

    Southwest Airlines is planning to launch service from Tampa to San Diego.
[Times file photo]
  3. The greatest coaches never to win it all


    As foregone conclusions go, some things are approaching the death-and-taxes stratosphere: summer humidity in Florida, a Kardashian seeking attention, and Mike Martin coming up short in Omaha.

    Florida State coach Mike Martin walks to the mound to talk to pitcher Cole Sands during the second inning of the team's NCAA College World Series baseball game against LSU Wednesday in Omaha, Neb. [AP photo]
  4. Tampa Bay homes values continue to rise along with sales prices

    Real Estate

    For the second month in a row, Tampa Bay had one of the highest year -over-year increases in home values in May, Zillow reported today.

    For the second month in a row, Tampa Bay had one of the highest year -over-year increases in home values in May, Zillow reported Thursday.
[Times file photo]
  5. Busy start has Florida Hospital Center Ice dreaming big


    WESLEY CHAPEL — Opening day brought 600 doctors, administrators and their families from Florida Hospital. Soon after that, the facility hosted its first junior league game and a collegiate showdown. A few weeks later, 200 kids, ages 4 to 9, participated in national Learn to Play Hockey Day.

    Alex Senushkin and his grandson, Styopa Kulshyn, 3, of Lakeland, skate at the Florida Hospital Center Ice rink in Wesley Chapel.
[CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]