Jury Selected

A jury was selected in the gambling trial of former Florida State quarterback Adrian McPherson Friday, despite a controversy over the jurors' diversity. In an eventful day at the Leon County Courthouse, Judge Tim Harley also formally set McPherson's trial date for next Wednesday. Among the 53 possible witnesses named Friday were nine current FSU scholarship athletes or coaches.

A jury was selected in the gambling trial of former Florida State quarterback Adrian McPherson Friday, despite a controversy over the jurors' diversity. In an eventful day at the Leon County Courthouse, Judge Tim Harley also formally set McPherson's trial date for next Wednesday, instead of Monday. Also, prosecutor Georgia Cappleman and defense attorney Grady Irvin, Jr., issued a list of witnesses who may be called upon to testify in the trial.

The selection of the nine-person jury – six jurors and three alternates – began with Irvin lodging a protest at the racial composition of the possible jurors. Of the pool of 30 people brought into the courtroom were only four African-Americans. Irvin argued that the pool did not represent an accurate cross-section of the community in Leon County, which is 29.1 percent African-American, according to the 2000 census.

Judge Harley denied Irvin's protest, proceeding with the selection process. In the end, the six-person panel contained just one African-American – after the prosecution used its preemptory challenges to remove two black men.

"If everybody in that room (the jury members) was black, I'd still make that same argument. This does not appear to be a broad cross-section of the community," Irvin said after the proceeding.

However, Irvin did say that he did not expect the jury's racial makeup to impact its judgment in the case.

"Race is not an issue in this jury, nor is race an issue with this case," Irvin said. "Anyone who decides that they want to go out and publicize race as an issue – that's up to them. They choose to do that. But don't put words in my mouth. Race is not an issue. We are very, very, very happy, extremely pleased, with the jury that has been chosen to sit in this case and to see if the state meets its burden of proof."

The six-person panel contains three men and three women. One of the women is an African-American; one of the men works for a company which donates money to the FSU Booster Club. A court order prohibits the publication of the jurors' names and addresses.

Among the 53 possible witnesses named Friday were nine current FSU scholarship athletes or coaches, including football players Dominic Robison and Marcello Church, baseball players Matt Lynch, Kevin Lynch, Daniel Hodges, and Tony Richie, football coaches Daryl Dickey and Bobby Bowden, and baseball coach Mike Martin. Three former FSU athletes were also listed, notably former baseball player Mike Futrell, who shared an apartment with alleged bookie Derek Delach. Also named were FSU athletic director Dave Hart and assistant A.D.'s Bob Minnix and Andy Urbanic.


Nole Digest Top Stories