Additional potential jurors to be interviewed in Cash Feenz trial
Two additional panels of jurors will be pulled in the coming days in an attempt to seat a jury in the murder trial of alleged Cash Feenz defendant Kemar Johnston.
At the start of today’s proceedings — day three of jury selection, 20th Judicial Circuit Judge Thomas S. Reese announced that 30 new jurors will be brought in Friday and another 60 new jurors will be brought in Tuesday.
After two days of questioning, only 16 jurors remain of the 76 questioned by the prosecution and state. Most were dismissed based on their knowledge of the crime, their stance on the death penalty or their opinion regarding Johnston’s guilty or innocence.
Reese hopes to get through the remaining 22 jurors today from the first panel, which started with 100, then intends to work through the second pool of 30 Friday. The court worked through more than 30 jurors each day during the first two days of jury selection. Reese then plans to work through the third panel of 60 jurors Tuesday and Wednesday in the hope of having enough people left over to pick a jury.
“We’ll work on the 60 and hopefully by Thursday we’ll have a sufficient number,” he said
“And I hope we don’t lose too many in the process,” Reese added.
If the court cannot seat a jury at that time, the judge could consider other options.
The defense has repeatedly pushed for a change of venue, claiming that the publicity surrounding the case will not allow for the seating of a fair and impartial jury. At the beginning of each day’s proceedings, defense attorney David A. Brener has cited local news reports, pointing out inaccuracies presented as fact and negative characterizations of his client.
Johnston, 23, faces two counts each of first-degree murder, kidnapping and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon in the 2006 Cape Coral double murder of Alexis and Jeffrey Sosa. If convicted, he faces life in prison without parole or possibly the death sentence.