KIRA TREVINO MURDER: Jury pool sent home after questions - New York News

KIRA TREVINO MURDER: Jury pool sent home after questions

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

There is no doubt the murder trial of Jeffery Trevino is a high-profile case, and dozens of potential jurors answered dozens of questions on Monday before they were sent home -- but those questions are being kept under wraps.

FOX 9 News requested to see the questionnaire; however, the judge apparently denied the request.

Even before the doors opened on the 8th floor of the Ramsey County Courthouse, the case against a St. Paul man accused of killing his wife and dumping her body in the Mississippi earlier this year had generated massive media attention. Jeff Degree, a criminal defense attorney who is not involved with the case, said pre-trial publicity is likely to be an issue that will come up during the trial and selection process.

"All a juror has to say -- a potential juror has to say -- is that I can put aside whatever I've read or heard and render a verdict based on what is presented in court," Degree explained.

A total of 54 people are being screened, but only 15 jurors will be selected, including three alternates.

On Monday, all potential jurors were asked to complete an 11-page, written questionnaire. Attorneys are expected to begin whittling down the pool on Tuesday.

Yet, even though the selection process stretched into a second day, more details about the testimony and evidence jurors will eventually see and hear during the trial did come to light. Prosecutors announced no weapon will be introduced as evidence, and photos of the autopsy of Kira Trevino will be limited and "won't be graphic."

Prosecutors also plan to submit text messages, as well as information from Facebook and Instagram accounts, as evidence.

As for whether a plea deal was offered, prosecutors say Kira Trevino's family was opposed to one. It's also interesting to note that potential witnesses are under what is known as sequestration, meaning they cannot sit in and watch the proceedings. Kira Trevino's mother and sisters are all on the witness list, but they would very much like to be in court throughout. Both sides have agreed the women will be allowed to remain in the gallery once they have testified.

The trial is expected to last up to three weeks and it's possible 55 witnesses could be called to testify because prosecutors are facing a lot of pressure in what has shaped up to be a largely circumstantial case against Jeffery Trevino.

In order to convict, prosecutors need to connect the dots -- a troubled marriage, large amounts of blood in the couple's home, an apparent clean-up attempt, surveillance video of Kira Trevino's car being abandoned at the Mall of America by a man who took a cab back to the couple's neighborhood, and the naked, battered body pulled from the river months after Kira Trevino disappeared.

"The state is going to argue that she disappeared, there's blood, the body was found; therefore, you have to conclude this. That's a lot different than just saying, 'This is what happened. We know, at this time, this happened,'" Degree said. "The prosecution doesn't have that in this case."

Jeffery Trevino was in court, and he appeared wearing dress pants and a dress shirt unbuttoned at the collar after spending months in jail. He greeted both the potential jury and judge by saying, "good morning."

FOX 9's Paul Blume was in the courtroom on Monday and will continue to cover the proceedings. Follow him on Twitter to see the latest developments in the case.

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