The second attempt to pick a jury in the Rosendo Rodriguez capital murder case started Thursday in Randall County. Last month, Judge Jim Bob Darnell granted a change of venue, saying Rodriguez could not receive a fair trial in Lubbock County due to extensive media coverage.
Lubbock Police found Summer Baldwin's body inside a suitcase at The Lubbock Landfill in 2005. District Attorney Matt Powell is seeking the death penalty against Rodriguez. Rodriguez also reportedly confessed to killing Joanna Rogers but so far, he has not been charged for her murder.
"Today's numbers were exceptional. They were above average," said Randall County District Clerk Jo Carter.
Carter is organizing the jury selection candidates in the trial.
"We had a few more people show up than we expected so we didn't have quite as many chairs as we need but we made it work," Carter added.
Rodriguez appearing for the first time without shackles was in court Thursday along with his lawyers and Lubbock District Attorney Matt Powell's team. District Clerk Carter believes the nice weather across The South Plains Thursday was the biggest reason for the high juror pool turnout.
"It has added extra duty to my staff but we handled it, I think it went smooth today," Carter said.
This trial, though big news here in the Hub City, has had virtually no news coverage in Canyon.
NewsChannel 11 asked, "Have you heard about the trial that's happening here?"
A Canyon Resident said, "No sir."
To another resident we asked, "So you say you have not heard about a trial happening here in Randall county?"
She replied, "no I have not."
When asked, how it would make you feel to know that a capital murder trial started Thursday over in that building, she replied, "that's scary."
Jury selection could take up to six weeks to complete. You can count on NewsChannel 11 to be in Canyon to bring you any updates during this capital murder trial.
|Courts & Crime|