Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

April 17, 2012

Jury selected in murder trial

GOSHEN — At 7:05 p.m. Monday, Tyrice J. Halliburton was able to look at the men and women who will decide his fate.

A 12-person jury plus two alternates was in place by that time during Halliburton’s murder trial in Elkhart Circuit Court. Halliburton, 31, formerly of Bristol, has been charged in connection with the March 2008 killing of Sheena Kiska, 23.

Authorities allege Halliburton stabbed Kiska to death at River Shores Apartments in Bristol during a burglary. Prosecutors want a sentence of life without parole for the defendant.

Kiska’s parents sat in the courtroom’s audience section throughout Monday’s proceedings.

Prosecuting and defense attorneys began the jury selection process at 9:40 a.m. Eleven jurors were in place by 2:35 p.m. Seating the 12th was more problematic. One by one potential jurors were questioned and dismissed until the final participant was picked at 6:38 p.m.

The two alternate jurors will sit through the trial, but won’t deliberate or be part of rendering a verdict unless one of the main jurors is unable.

Attorneys quizzed potential jurors throughout the day, and also discussed concepts including “reasonable doubt” and “presumption of innocence.”

“I might be wrong, right?” Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill noted of the latter notion.

Hill and Chief Deputy Prosecutor Vicki Becker both warned that graphic crime scene photos would be part of the evidence presented. One member of the jury pool said she wasn’t sure she’d do well with those pictures.

“I don’t want to see ’em,” she said. During further questioning, the woman told the court she watches “CSI.”

“You watch ‘CSI’ and you’re talking to me about grisly photographs?” Hill gently chided. The woman was later dismissed.

One man said he couldn’t serve on the jury if Halliburton faced the death penalty. Hill said the defendant did not. Nonetheless, that potential juror was dismissed.

Attorneys were set to make opening statements this morning in Circuit Court.

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