Over one-third of potential jurors say they have already formed an opinion in the Randeep Mann case. The Russellville doctor's trial started today for the bombing of the state medical board chairman's car
Attorneys are trying to pick a jury. A good portion will happen away from view of reporters. There are questions about how jurors feel about Dr. Mann's race, ethnicity, and media coverage of the case.
There were over 80 potential jurors in the government's case against Randeep Mann and his wife Sangeeta
. The Russellville doctor is accused of blowing up Dr. Trent Pierce's car in the driveway of his West Memphis home.
Pierce, is the head of the state medical board, which had taken away Mann's ability to prescribe narcotics after 10 of his patients died from overdose.
For the first time in court, Mann appeared in a suit before a courtroom filled with potential jurors. By mid-afternoon only seven had been dismissed.
"I think it's open and shut, the man is guilty," says Tim Harper, one of the potential jurors dismissed. "I was honest in the questionaire, I was honest when I felt the need to raise my hand and tell them what I think about it."
Harper, one of more than 20, told the judge they've already formed an opinion about the case. That is even before the government has put on any of its evidence, which could include over 100 prosecution witnesses.
Jury selection might take the rest of the week. The trial is slated for four weeks.
Mann is also charged with illegally possessing military grade rocket-propelled grenades, as well as illegally possessing at least two fully automatic machine guns.
Sangeeta Mann is charged with obstructing the government's investigation into her husband's possible connection to illegal weapons possession.