Expect some company if you're headed to the courthouse Thursday. Lawyers will begin interviewing hundreds of people for jury duty in the city's first death penalty case in more than a decade.
Glen Galloway, 46, is accused of shooting and killing a man named Marcus Anderson and then using Anderson's truck to drive to the home of his ex-girlfriend Janice Nam who was shot in the head. Galloway was previously convicted of stalking Nam.
Rather than the standard 12 jurors plus two alternates, the court will seat 18 people in this case.
Scott Sosebee, the District Administrator for the 4th Judicial District explained that the four extra alternates are needed due to the length of the trial.
"Generally you're going to need a larger alternate pool in order successfully get through the case. So, that's why you're going to have a larger jury with these types of cases," Sosebee said.
Attorneys mailed 2,800 jury summons notices for the case. Sosebee said the first 1,200 people from that group will be interviewed in groups of 150, twice a day on Thursday and Friday, then again the following Thursday and Friday.
The 18 person jury is large enough that some remodeling work was needed in the courtroom before the trial could begin.
"We enlarged the jury box, we had to move the lighting controls for that particular courtroom to get them out of the jury box and we also added some tinting on some windows in an area where the jury gathers," explained El Paso County spokesman Dave Rose.
The court also upgraded its audio and video equipment and made other technology upgrades in anticipation of this trial.
The grand total for all the work cost around $50,000.
Rose encouraged those members of the community who received a jury summons to use one of their two parking garages downtown rather than parking at a metered space on the street.
"It only costs $2 for the day that you're called and then if you're actually assigned to a jury, the court will give you a slip and it is free for the duration of the trial."
The last criminal suspect to be charged with capital murder was Marco Lee. Rather than go through a death penalty trial, Lee was sentenced to life in prison through a plea agreement in which he admitted to shooting and killing Colorado Springs Police Officer Ken Jordan. Lee was sentenced in December 2008.
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