Jury seated for Arkansas judge after son's death in hot car

AP News
Posted: Aug 15, 2016 7:41 PM
Jury seated for Arkansas judge after son's death in hot car

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) — A jury was seated Monday in the trial an Arkansas judge charged with negligent homicide after his 18-month-old son died after being left in a hot car last summer.

A jury of six men and six women with one male alternate was seated in the trial for Garland County Circuit Judge Wade Naramore, who pleaded not guilty in March in the heat-related death of his son, Thomas.

Jury selection began at 8:30 a.m. Monday and a jury was seated at 5:45 p.m. The trial is scheduled to resume Tuesday.

Naramore faces up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine in the July 2015 death of his son. His lawyer has said the boy's death was "a tragedy but not a crime."

Because of pretrial publicity, clerks summoned a larger number of potential jurors than usual Monday. Up to 180 potential jurors could have been called before Special Judge John Langston.

A number of people in the jury pool said they either know Naramore or some of the witnesses who could be called. Others said they aren't sure they could be impartial, and at least one was dismissed for a medical condition.

Naramore stopped hearing cases after his courtroom after son's death, with special judges stepping in to hear cases. Local court officials stepped aside from the case, requiring that a special prosecutor another special judge come in.

Naramore's lawyers on Monday asked that jurors not be shown autopsy photos, saying they weren't pertinent to the case. The toddler was found unresponsive July 24, 2015, when temperatures reached the upper 90s and the heat index approached 105.

The trial is expected to last a week.