Jury for Trimble case narrows down

Grace Dobush

RAVENNA – Jury selection in the trial of James E. Trimble continues today, with the remaining 53 jury candidates returning this morning for more questioning.

Common Pleas Judge John Enlow expects to have a jury set by the end of the week. He told potential jurors that he hopes the trial will not last much longer than two weeks.

Trimble, 45, of Brimfield, is charged with three counts of aggravated murder and eight counts of attempted murder.

Today, the prosecution and defense will continue to whittle down the number of jurors. Each side is allowed to ask a few questions and to dismiss a number of jurors without debate.

The last 10 potential jurors went through individual questioning yesterday morning and the regular jury selection began after lunch.

Of the 10 questioned in the morning, six were excused, most for pretrial exposure influencing their impartiality.

The remaining four returned in the afternoon with the other candidates.

Of the 60 people still in the jury pool, four did not appear at 1 p.m.

Juror No. 35 had left to go on vacation last weekend and was still in South Carolina yesterday. Enlow said if she did not appear in court at 8 a.m. today she would be found in contempt of court, which is punishable by a fine.

“If she’d told us beforehand, we probably would have excused her,” Enlow said from the bench.

Economic hardship was another reason for the dismissal of jurors, who are paid $15 a day.

Juror No. 2 said she was a sole-practicing attorney and said she would lose clients if she were unavailable for weeks.

Juror No. 19 provided a letter from his employer stating that he would not be paid for his time off and told Enlow he was the sole supporter of his family.

Juror No. 40 said he was a self-employed plumber. He said there would be no one to fill in for him when he would be gone, and although his wife worked, he felt he would not be able to support his children.

Juror No. 237 also said she would not be paid for time off from her new job. She was also pregnant, with morning sickness and a number of appointments scheduled in the coming weeks. Enlow excused her.

Missing class was a reason for Juror No. 180 to be exempt from serving. He said he had tried to reschedule the times of his classes but was unable to. Enlow said the court had decided students who would lose their tuition money could be excused.

Contact public affairs reporter Grace Dobush at [email protected].