Troupe jury pool selected - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Troupe jury pool selected

August 21, 2006

Douglas -- It was three years ago that the wreck happened, but it's taken three years for this case to come to trial.

Now, jury selection is underway. 100 potential jurors showed up at the Coffee County Courthouse today. The woman accused of hitting and killing five children on an All Terrain Vehicle in Coffee County is on trial.  

Troupe is charged with DUI and vehicular homicide in the deaths of 14-year old Megan Nelson, 13-year old Kayla Varnadore, 11-year old Dustin Varnadore,13 year old Lindsay Joyner, and 10 year old Courtney Arsenault. A sixth child, then 13-year old Heather Bass survived the crash.

The night of September 21, 2003, the six children were piled onto one ATV on a road in rural Coffee County when they were hit head-on by a car. Troupe pleaded not guilty to the charges.  

The jury panel was cut down to 60 Monday morning. About 5:20PM, Judge Mike Boggs gave the jury strict instructions not to discuss the case, or watch news reports about it. They were then sent home.  

Fifteen counts against Amanda Troupe were dedicated to the children who were killed when the ATV they were aboard was struck by Troupe's car. All jurors said the had heard of the case, and they were asked if they had grandchildren, or were knowledgeable about ATV's.

The Douglas community is debating the issues of the trial. "I'm sure she would change it if she could," said Trey Day, who we interviewed for this story. "But the kids, from what I've been told, were as much in the wrong as she was."

Testimony from police and parents who were there the night the tragedy happened will be heard. The defense has videos to play, and the sole survivor of the ATV, Heather Bass, is expected to testify.

Many in the community say the case will never truly be decided. "It won't never be over for any of them," said  Sherry Taylor. "Because you can't bring the kids back..."

Jurors will return at 9:00, and the trial should last a week.

Feedback: news@walb.com?subject=TroupeJury/JE