STATESBORO, Ga. (WSAV) — The jury is now selected in the trial for Marcus Wilson.
The court finished jury selection on Tuesday evening after two days of questioning. More than 40 potential jurors were questioned out of the nearly 100 that showed up.
Judge Ronnie Thompson was growing frustrated at the speed of the trial on Tuesday, repeatedly urging attorneys to speed up questioning. Defense attorney Francys Johnson said the judge’s desire for a fast trial was compromising a thorough jury selection.
In response, the judge accused the defense team of intentionally dragging out the process, ordering that if they repeat questions they will not be allowed to ask them. To help streamline the process, the court decided Tuesday afternoon to pick from the pool of jurors that had already been questioned up until that point.
Johnson filed a motion to recuse the judge on the case for the second time since February. It was denied by the court.
Wilson is charged with felony murder and aggravated assault in connection to the deadly shooting of 17-year-old Haley Hutcheson in February 2020. His defense team plans to argue Wilson fired in self-defense, alleging passengers in the car with Hutcheson were yelling racial remarks and attempted to drive his car off the road.
Prosecutors focused the majority of their questions to potential jurors about if they have ever been falsely accused of a crime, own weapons or have ever been in a situation where they feared for their life.
On the other hand, defense targeted potential jurors’ experiences with people of other races, their understanding of implicit bias and their knowledge of recent cases surrounding race, including the trial for the men who killed Ahmaud Arbery.
Court is set to resume on Wednesday morning where the jury will begin hearing the case. The judge intends for the trial to be completed by the end of the week.