Posted: Nov 13, 2009 8:32 PM by Matt Stafford
Updated: Nov 13, 2009 8:32 PM
Jury selection in the case against Douglas Bruce got underway Friday morning, but quickly hit a speed bump.
When chosen, the jury will decided whether Bruce and Douglas Stinehagen broke the law on August 15th when they refused to leave a Costco store parking lot. The two men say they were exercising 1st amendment rights to gather signatures for what became Ballot 300.
However, finding six jurors for the case is proving to be a problem.
"When this was addressed today I wasn't really sure how to approach it," says Carrie Gordon, jury commissioner for Municipal Court in Colorado Springs.
Friday morning a man handed pamphlets to potential jurors as they walked in.
"Just a gentleman that was standing out front as I was walking in and he asked if I wanted some reading material, something to read while I was waiting," says Jimmie Profitt, who was brought in as a potential juror.
"I asked them for their pamphlet and I also told them if they wanted to keep the pamphlet they could but it would be addressed in the courtroom," Gordon explains.
Gordon told Judge Spencer Gresham that of the 44 potential jurors called, 38 had been given the pamphlet. The city prosecutor asked for a continuance and it was granted.
"I'd probably say most of us, or a good portion of us that were left that I talked to, didn't feel that we were tampered or tainted," Profitt says.
The pamphlets say nothing specific about they case, but, it did tell jurors, among other things, that they couldn't be forced to obey their oath.
"Being the jury commissioner for 20 years now, I've never had this happen," says Gordon.
So, with something new, court officials are remaining cautious.
The trial is now set to begin on December 4th at 8:15 a.m. in Colorado Springs Municipal Court.
A trial readiness hearing is scheduled for December 2nd.