Jury selection begin in Buie trial as Woods reaches agreement - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Jury selection begin in Buie trial as Woods reaches agreement

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Former Albany Downtown Manager Don Buie's theft trial started Monday.

Buie is accused of writing ADICA checks to his wife and girlfriend. Dozens of prospective jurors were questioned Monday, but the proceedings, required by law to be open to the public, were closed by Judge Denise Marshall.

It was a long day for jurors who were questioned as a group in the morning, then returned throughout the afternoon in groups of 6 to be individually questioned by attorney's to see just how much they might be influenced by media reports of the charges against Don Buie.  ADICA Board member L'Juana Woods also, struck a deal with the DA to avoid possible prosecution.

Don Buie was led by deputies to the courtroom. He kept his eyes forward and shuffled because his feet were shackled.

"Any final words before the trial starts," questioned reporters.

Don Buie walked silently on. Sixty-one prospective jurors answered questions from prosecutors and Don Buie's lawyer. Just as jury selection started, the District Attorney announced that embattled ADICA board member L'Juana Woods agreed to resign rather than face possible prosecution on misfeasance of office charges.

"Misfeasance is generally defined as the wrongful performance of a normally lawful act and the wrongful and injurious exercise of lawful authority and that's what we felt was possibly a point of contention," said Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards.

Woods also signed a promissory note to pay back the $50,000 grant.

"It's a very brisk repayment plan and while the state is not a collection agency if those terms are not complied with then we will revisit if necessary," said Edwards.

Meaning if she fails to repay, charges could be revisited.

"It's not going to be a long drawn out repayment plan. We anticipate she'll be repaid in full if she sticks to the plan," said Edwards.

That's expected to be by the third quarter of 2010.

The 61 jurors in this case are all expected back here at the courthouse first thing tomorrow morning when the process will begin to seat the 12 member jury that will ultimately decide Don Buie's fate. Others indicted in Buie's case including his wife, Shannon Lee, Downtown business owner Tim Washington and former Buie girlfriend Nicole Brown are expected to testify when the trial begins this week.

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