Sep. 14—Hundreds of names that have been selected at random will be used to pick a jury for an upcoming double homicide trial in Crawford County Court of Common Pleas.
At a hearing Monday, Judge Mark Stevens told attorneys for both sides that notifications have been sent by county court officials to 450 to 500 potential jurors for the Jack Turner case. The county normally has a pool of around 300 potential jurors for all cases headed to trial during a two-week trial term in county court.
Pennsylvania State Police have charged Turner, 23, with homicide for the August 2019 shooting deaths of his stepmother, Shannon Whitman, 49, and his half brother, Darrin Whitman, 10.
Stevens said jury selection in the case remains scheduled to start Oct. 4 with the trial to open Oct. 25.
Jury selection may take several weeks as the Crawford County District Attorney's Office filed notice with the court that it will seek the death penalty for Turner, if he is convicted at trial. Testimony in the case also is forecast to take at least two weeks to complete.
Police allege Turner fatally shot his stepmother and half brother during a burglary of the Whitman home in Randolph Township on Aug. 10, 2019. Police allege Turner also stole a .22-caliber rifle, a .22-caliber semi-automatic handgun, miscellaneous items valued at $185, and a silver 2009 Lincoln MKS sedan from the home.
A general orientation for all potential jurors in the case will begin Oct. 4, Stevens said. Jurors then would be scheduled to return in groups of 10 to 15 starting Oct. 5, with potential jurors to be questioned individually. Jurors will be questioned by Turner's defense lawyers Michael Waltman and Owen Seman and Crawford County District Attorney Francis Schultz as well as Judge Stevens.
Keith Gushard can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.