Chris Coleman attorneys agree on jury

12:21 PM, Apr 19, 2011   |    comments
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Pinckneyville, IL (KSDK) - The lawyers in the Chris Coleman murder trial agreed on a jury.

The jury will consist of 10 women and two men. There will also be four male alternate jurors. All the members of the jury are caucasian.

The final jurors were selected from a pool of about 50 people. 

The judge thanked them for their participation during an afternoon meeting Tuesday. He also reminded them that they cannot speak to anyone about the case.  The group will be sworn-in on Monday.

The judge said he will provide the jurors will information about the Illinois death penalty laws and about the death penalty going away in June.

Before the final jurors were selected, the defense expressed concern because it said 35 to 46 of the jurors in the pool had heard about the Coleman case.  They pushed again for a change of venue, but the judge denied it. 

Lawyers in the case finished interviewing potential jurors on Monday. The process started last Tuesday.

Chris Coleman's parents made what could be their last visit to the Perry County Jail Monday night.

Their son is behind bars, accused of murdering his wife and two sons in their Columbia, Illinois home in May of 2009.

Coleman is in Perry County while his attorneys and prosecutors try to find a fair and impartial jury about an hour from where the high profile case will be tried. As they have for more than a week, attorneys questioned potential jurors Monday about their knowledge of the case, and their opinions on the death penalty.

One woman told attorneys, "I think he's guilty...I'm pretty opinionated about this."

Reporters were also on the record Monday. Judge Milton Wharton issued a gag order saying no member of the media or private citizen can speak to Coleman while he walks to and from the courthouse. The judge says Coleman's right to a fair trial out-weighs First Amendment rights and he's concerned a potential juror could over hear any questions or comments.

NewsChannel 5's Ryan Dean and Casey Nolen have been covering the jury selection process and will cover the trial.  Follow their updates on Twitter @ksdknews.


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