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Jury: Can I Send Brian Horn To His Death? - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Jury: Can I Send Brian Horn To His Death?

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DeSoto Parish, La -

It's a day Amy Withim Fletcher and the people of DeSoto parish have waited a long time for. The capital murder trial of 37-year-old Brian Horn, the taxi cab driver who prosecutors believe suffocating suffocated Fletcher's 12-year-old son, Justin Bloxom. 
 
The trial starts tomorrow, March 11 Tuesday, with jury selection in an East Baton Rouge Parish courtroom. The goal is to seat a jury with little if any knowledge of the highly publicized 2010 homicide. Jurors then will be shipped to DeSoto parish for the actual trial.
Prosecutors are going for the death penalty in this case which means the people who are picked for this jury will have to ask themselves, "Can I send a man to his death?"
 
When the incident happened back in 2010 it was all over the local news.  The high profile media coverage of the story in local news is why the jury selection for the Horn trial will take place in East Baton Rouge Parish.  Attorneys on both sides will drive to East Baton Rouge to find a group of people who have not been influenced by the local media on the guilt or innocence of Brian Horn.
Once picked, those people will be brought back to the DeSoto Parish courthouse and during the trial in Mansfield, jurors, in a sense will be cut off from society, chaperoned from hotel to the courtroom by DeSoto Parish Sheriff deputies.
"They will be kept away from media attention. Their contact with family will be monitored. They will have limited newspaper access, Internet access, television access. They eat and go as a group...it is quite burdensome on them and their family," says DeSoto Parish Judge Robert Burgess.
 
Judge Burgess will preside over this trial from jury selection to the verdict.
Since this is a death penalty case the court will  try to eliminate people who are not willing to vote for the death penalty. On the other hand potential jurors cannot be of the belief that the death penalty must be imposed in all cases of capital murder. They must also be able to consider life in prison as a possible penalty.
 
Judge Burgess says the jury selection process is unpredictable but feels like it should only take  a week which means the court trial in DeSoto Parish could start as early as Monday of next week.
 
That pace is high speed considering the time it took for the trial to begin because of changes in defense teams and the late release of evidence by prosecutors.
 
District Attorney Richard Johnson is handling the prosecution with a team of assistants.  Daryl Gold will lead the defense despite a controversy last month when a capital defense organization sought to replace him.

 

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