Bart Johnson jury selection Day 4: Defense set to question potential jurors

Published 12:29 pm Thursday, May 5, 2011

By BRAD GASKINS / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – Jury selection continued this morning in preparation for the trial of Bart Johnson, a Kimberly man charged with two counts of capital murder in the shooting death of a Pelham police officer.

Retired Shelby County Circuit Judge Al Crowson’s courtroom recessed for lunch at noon and will resume at 1 p.m.

Jury selection began Monday. Potential jurors were individually questioned Tuesday and Wednesday and were questioned as a group this morning.

Of the 104 remaining potential jurors who reported this morning, 102 remain. Two were dismissed today: a man who said he couldn’t recommend the death penalty under any circumstances, and another man who said he didn’t think he could be impartial, in part because he lives next door to a Pelham police officer.

Defense attorneys will question jurors when court resumes this afternoon. This morning, District Attorney Robby Owens questioned jurors, asking:

-Do you have any specialized training in firearms or ballistics, other than being a hunter?

-Do you have any special training in DNA methods?

-Would you have any problems viewing autopsy photos or watching video taken from a police cruiser?

-Have you or someone close to you ever dealt with migraine headaches. If so, were you or the person you know ever on medication for migraine headaches?

-Have you or someone close to you ever seen a psychologist or psychiatrist? Have you dealt with either of the two on a professional level?

-Are you close friends with any of the other potential jurors present in the courtroom?