Michelle Reynolds is charged with the July 5, 2004, murder of her husband, Thad John Glenn Reynolds.
A small portion of the 200 prospective jurors requested to be excused Tuesday from serving in what could easily be a lengthy trial. The court has reserved the entire month of February to hear the case.
Another hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. today.
Of the prospective jurors, 16 were excused from service entirely because of medical or financial reasons. Two others were excused from beginning portions of jury selection, and 14 of the summonses were returned without a forwarding address.
Jurors who have medical conditions, full-time students or primary caregivers for young children can be excused from service said Davlon Ezell, director of the Floyd County Superior Court Receiver and Jury Management.
That leaves a 170-strong pool of potential jurors to choose from in the case.
In order to ensure a fair trial, the court sent out a specialized jury summons in December. For the most part, the needs of the jurors were medical related and, with a doctor’s note in hand, they were excused one by one.
The jury pool was drawn from a two-year-old pool, which the court has already ruled is composed from a pool representing a cross section of the population, in accordance with the law.
And while the case is still technically a death penalty case, the DA agreed not to ask jurors for the death penalty as a part of a surprise plea agreement by Reynolds’ co-defendant, Richard Scott Harper.
Harper pleaded guilty in October 2008 to the murder with the understanding that he would testify against Reynolds and prosecutors would not seek death for either suspect.
He agreed to life imprisonment without parole as part of the deal but is unlikely to be sentenced until Reynolds’ case is finalized.
Rome News Tribune