Jury selection for Yanez trial continues

Jury selection continues in the trial for a St. Anthony police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile.

Perhaps the most contentious juror questioning Thursday involved a college science professor.

He acknowledged that he attended a vigil for Castile last summer at the school where Castile worked before his death.

The juror told the court he cried and believed the shooting at that point was excessive.

"I was sad,” said “Any death is troubling under questionable circumstances. I went to pay my respects and be with my family and community."

The defense led by veteran attorney Early Gray pleaded with Judge William Leary to dismiss the juror for bias.

But the judge declined. He figured the PhD and trained scientist could listen to the entire case and make an impartial decision once all the evidence came in..

The professor is now one of 14 jurors to advance to the next phase of the selection process the court needs 23.

Among the other notable moments Thursday included a recent college grad, who broke down on the stand under questioning. She told the court she just doesn't think she can handle the pressure of deciding the innocence or guilty of the defendant Jeronimo Yanez.

She was dismissed.

Another interesting juror debate involved an 18-year-old Ethiopian immigrant who admitted she knew very little about the jury process. The defense wanted her tossed, but the judge said no.

The judge announced late in the day, he now hopes to get to opening statements Monday afternoon.
The jury selection process resumes on Friday.