Posted: May 1, 2012 6:04 PM by Michael Shingleton
Updated: May 1, 2012 6:49 PM
BATON ROUGE - Two of the 150 potential jurors were removed from the jury in the murder-for-hire trial of Torrence Hatch also know as rapper "Lil Boosie."
Those cut from the pool cited their prior knowledge of the case and said they couldn't be fair and impartial.
Twelve other jurors in the first of many panels spent Tuesday answering questions from Assistant District Attorney Dana Cummings and one of Hatch's lawyers, Martin Regan.
Cummings and Regan questioned what they knew about Hatch, if they knew any judges, attorney present or members of law enforcement.
Regan recgonized it will be tough finding 12 jurors without some knowledge, but said he's looking for people that have limited specific knowledge of the case.
"We want people that are fair and balanced, and obviously, if you have information coming in, particularly information that may affect one side or the other, then somebody's at a disadvantage," Regan said.
When questioned by Cummings about prior knowledge of this case, Juror number 345 acknowledged he had read a few articles on the Internet, but said, "This is the Internet we are talking about here. That is more or less a collection of hearsay and gossip."
Those feelings were echoed by all but two of the other 12 potential jurors.
"The majority of them said they didn't always trust what they heard in the press, and no offense to you guys but they weren't prepared to make their minds up based on the press at this point. They want to sit, listen and be careful with the evidence," Regan said.
Jury selection continues Wednesday, and the defense expects opening arguments to begin either Friday or over the weekend.