Jury ready to hear Troupe case - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Jury ready to hear Troupe case

August 22, 2006

Douglas -- A jury has finally been selected in the Amanda Troupe trial.

It took two long days to seat the men and women who will decide Amanda Troupe's fate. The jury of five men and seven women will ultimately decide guilt or innocence in the 20 count indictment against Amanda Troupe.

The prosecution claims Troupe was drunk when her vehicle struck an ATV carrying six kids, 13 or younger. Five were killed in the crash.

It was a long day for nearly 100 potential jurors. It's even longer for the 12 jurors and two alternates that are listening to opening statements in the courthouse.

Jurors endured more questioning this morning from the defense concerning their feelings on driving under the influence and their ATV knowledge. Jurors were then questioned individually before the judge, prosecutor, and defense including Amanda Troupe.

Only 49 of the 60 were individually questioned. Both the defense and prosecution had nine strikes apiece to get the jury.

Judge Mike Boggs wasted no time after seating the jury, starting right into jury instructions. A second day of jury selection started with more questioning from the defense.

Defense Attorney Tom Pujadas zeroed in on jurors' feelings concerning drunk driving, asking if anyone had ridden in the car with a driver who had a few drinks. Most had.

Around 11:00, the judge prosecution and defense began individually questioning jurors. At 3:30, both sides began the striking process to get the 12 member jury and two alternates.

The prosecution is expected to call witnesses including a pathologist, police officers, GBI lab technicians, and the sole survivor, Heather Bass.

The defense is expected to call expert witnesses to testify about ATV safety standards and warnings on the machines that caution against overloading and young drivers.    

Jurors will ultimately decide guilt or innocence on the 20 count indictment. If they find Amanda Troupe guilty on all 20 counts, Judge Mike Boggs could sentence Troupe to a maximum of 91 years in jail.

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