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Jury is picked to decide fate of students' killer

Published Oct. 6, 2005

Twelve jurors were selected Wednesday to recommend whether Danny Harold Rolling, who admitted killing five college students, should be sentenced to death or life in prison.

The panel was chosen on the ninth day of jury selection. Four alternates were to be picked Thursday, with opening arguments to begin Monday.

Circuit Judge Stan R. Morris did not sequester the jury, composed of nine women and three men.

"I do not intend to have you pestered, bothered or annoyed," Morris said. "I want you to tend to your children, your loved ones and do all the things you would want to do. I do not want to take that away from you."

Meanwhile, Rolling on Wednesday asked Morris for permission to skip jury selection Thursday and the judge agreed. Rolling did not give a reason for the request to stay in his cell at Florida State Prison in Starke.

"I've got complete confidence that everything will go the way it should," Rolling said.

Rolling, 39, pleaded guilty Feb. 15 to five counts of first-degree murder, three counts of sexual battery and three counts of armed burglary in the August 1990 slayings.

Rolling, a Louisiana drifter and a career criminal, is already serving multiple life sentences in a string of burglaries and robberies.