NORWICH – Opening statements were heard Wednesday after jury selection concluded in the Michael A. Victor Jr. trial.
A pool of approximately 70 potential jurors reported to the Chenango County Courthouse at 9:15 a.m. yesterday for the second day of jury selection. Seven jurors – 5 men and 2 women – were seated Tuesday.
Of the second pool, 30 were excused at their request. From the first panel of 14 called, seven were eliminated through pre-emptory challenges made by the prosecution and defense, leaving 3 men and 2 women to be seated on the jury along with 2 male alternates.
The new jurors were sworn in shortly after noon, following which Judge W. Howard Sullivan adjourned the proceedings until 1:45 p.m.
When court was called back into session, Sullivan instructed the panel on its role.
“You, the jury, is the sole judge of the facts in this case,” the judge said. He reminded them that the defendant, who appeared before them in the “garb of innocence” with the “dignity and self respect of a free man,” is to be presumed innocent until such time as the prosecution is able to establish otherwise by providing “legal proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”