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Four Jurors Selected for Harris Trial
At least five potential jurors have been dismissed in the Chris Harris murder trial. Harris faces 38 criminal counts connected to the September 2009 deaths of five members of the Ruth and Raymond Gee family in Beason.
Juror questioning got underway today at the Peoria County Courthouse. So far, four jurors have been selected. Three of those are women: one casino hostess, one optician, and one who is self-employed. The male juror works in environmental cleanup.
Five prospective jurors were dismissed even before being questioned by lawyers today. It was an agreement between the two legal teams that those jurors should be dismissed because of their answers to a 150-question survey they filled out Tuesday.
We're told one had strong opinions about the legal system, another had a case pending before the court, the third was an administrative law judge that one of the lawyers had a pending case before, another had a high-risk pregnancy, and the fifth had ongoing care obligations for a spouse.
After that, both teams accepted the first four jurors they questioned, because they have to pick them in groups of four. They can dismiss them individually, but have to pick them in groups of four.
The fifth juror questioned today was not dismissed. She is a woman who is currently unemployed but looking for work, and she remains in the pool.
The next three potential jurors were dropped. Number 6 was eliminated because he didn't think he could be impartial, and number 7 was eliminated for hardship and the inability to be fair. The eighth was dropped because both sides felt it was too graphic for her to handle.
The ninth is still a possibility, in the pool with the fifth.
We're told there was not enough time to call in another group of jurors, so we won't have any more than four jurors until the process resumes Thursday.
The judge plans to call 25 more potential jurors Thursday, and is still hopeful to complete jury selection by the end of the week.They need 16 in total: 12 jurors and four alternates.