Jury Notices To Be Sent Out Friday In Capital Gazette Murder Trial
The Capital Gazette gunman was in court today ahead of his scheduled jury trial this summer, and WJZ live at 6 o'clock tonight, Paul Gessler with what his lawyers are now asking for. Paul?
PAUL GESSLER: Well, Rick, the circuit court here in Anne Arundel County, like most government offices, following strict public health guidelines that includes wearing a mask. And the judge agreed to motions today that there will be times prospective jurors attorneys and witnesses use face shields instead.
As the jury trial for the Capital Gazette gunman prepares, attorneys are sorting out just how that will look, starting with asking about vaccination status of prospective jurors, something Judge Michael Walk's declined to do. Jarred Ramos pleaded guilty to the 2018 attack that killed Gerald Fishman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith, and Wendi Winters.
Now, the question of whether he's criminally responsible. It's Maryland's version of an insanity defense. Judge Walks has said notices will be sent this Friday to a jury pool of 300 people, and, they will be brought into the courtroom during jury selection in groups of 10, with Plexiglas barriers between counsel, in front of the jury box, and at the witness stand.
A jury trial has been put off several times throughout the pandemic, but is on the docket again to start in June. Also scheduled in June, just blocks away from the courthouse, an unveiling of the Guardians of the First Amendment Memorial, honoring victims of that attack.
Now, the judge ruled the defendant in this case must wear a mask throughout trial, although he said it can be a clear one. Meanwhile, all five lawyers, three defense lawyers, and two state's attorneys are vaccinated, although, the defendant is not. Reporting live in Annapolis at six, Paul Gessler for WJZ.