Jury Selection Underway in Jennifer Ross Murder Case - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

12/04/06

Jury Selection Underway in Jennifer Ross Murder Case

Jennifer Ross, from a family photo. Jennifer Ross, from a family photo.
Michael Thorpe, from a prior court appearance. Michael Thorpe, from a prior court appearance.
Webster Wilson, from a prior court appearance. Webster Wilson, from a prior court appearance.
Kevin Huckabee, from a prior court appearance. Kevin Huckabee, from a prior court appearance.

Update 6pm: Court has recessed for the night. As of 6:10pm, 18 of the 90 jurors were excused. WTOC will be there as jury selection resumes at 9am Tuesday.


Update 5pm: The court continues to question potential jurors after a short break at 4:30pm. As of 5pm, 12 of the 90 jurors have been excused, and others who've been questioned already were allowed to go home for the night.


Update 1pm: The court has broken for lunch after Judge Penny Haas-Freesmann and attorneys for both the prosecution and the defense questioned about 30 of the 90 potential jurors. So far, the judge has excused six of those questioned.

Potential jurors were given a questionnaire to fill out this morning, which asked them if they could be fair an impartial in the case, whether they had information not already reported by the media, and whether they'd formed an opinion already on the case.

Jury selection will continue when court reconvenes at 2pm.


 

The murder of a young Savannah woman that outraged the community is going to trial starting today.

Nineteen-year-old Jennifer Ross was shot during a robbery attempt in Orleans Square last Christmas Eve, and died New Year's Day (see: Police Search for Teen's Killer).

A few days later, crowds shared in the family's grieving (Hundreds Turn Out for Slain Teen's Funeral), and Ross' murder began to be a main focus in a vigorous community effort to combat violent crime (Mayor, Family Friend on Continued Fight Against Crime).

On January 12, police a gray Ford Taurus they say was used in the crime. Shortly after, two suspects were arrested.

Three men were in indicted on April 26: Michael Thorpe, the man police say pulled the trigger on the gun that killed Ross; Webster Wilson, accused of pistol-whipping one of her friends during the robbery; and Kevin Huckabee, who police say drove the getaway car. Wilson was arrested the same day.

The prosecution wanted to see all three face a jury together to illustrate they are all equally responsible for Ross' murder. Defense attorneys would have preferred separate trials. See: Judge to Make Big Ruling in Jennifer Ross Murder Case.

In November, the judge ruled for a single trial.

As of 10am today, jury selection was underway. Twelve jurors and two alternates are needed from a pool of 90 men and women.

A packed courtroom is expected for what's anticipated to be a longer-than-usual trial. It's expected to last about two weeks. WTOC has a crew at the Chatham County Courthouse and will have live coverage during THE News and frequent updates online.

In the meantime, click here to browse the wtoc.com archive of our coverage of the case, and even a story from 2002, when Ross was chosen as a WTOC Top Teen.

Contact the WTOC News team

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