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Mother-daughter shooting trial gets jury

The case against Shirley Egan, 68, has attracted national attention.

A jury of three men and three women was chosen Thursday for the trial of an elderly woman charged with shooting and paralyzing her daughter.

The six jurors, and four alternates, were chosen from a pool of 50 prospective panelists after attorneys in the case asked them questions regarding the amount of contact they have with the elderly and whether they had paid attention to media coverage of the case.

Opening statements were scheduled for Monday. The trial is expected to be over by Wednesday.

Shirley Egan, 68, is charged with two counts of attempted murder. She is charged with shooting her daughter and trying to shoot her daughter's live-in boyfriend in March.

The shooting left Georgette Smith, Egan's daughter, paralyzed from the neck down, barely able to speak, incapable of swallowing and unable to control her bladder.

Saying she couldn't go on living in her condition, Smith in May won a court's permission to be taken off life support and died.

Prosecutors decided not to charge Egan with murder, citing her declining health and closeness with her daughter.

Egan has emphysema and is blind in one eye. Thursday, she was brought into the courtroom in a wheelchair. During the hearing, she rested her head on the defense table several times and appeared to doze off.

Circuit Judge Thomas Mihok told prospective jurors that Smith's decision to be taken off life support shouldn't be a factor in considering the guilt or innocence of Egan.

Prosecutor Pam Smith and defense attorney Robert Wesley focused most of their questions on whether prospective jurors had read or viewed any news reports about the case. Most of the jurors said they had heard something about the case.

One man, who said he took drugs for schizophrenia, began crying when he talked about what he knew of the case. "I came to the conclusion that it was a tragic story," he said.

He was dismissed.

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