Stewart Jury to Come from Stanly County
Jury selection is set for July in the trial of a man the state says murdered seven elderly nursing home residents and the male nurse who tried to protect them.
Robert Kenneth Stewart faces eight first-degree murder counts and other charges, and District Attorney Maureen Krueger is seeking the death penalty.
Monday morning just before the lunch break, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge James M. Webb moved the venue to Stanly County "for the limited purpose of jury selection" and set a date. Those Albemarle proceedings are expected to take three or four weeks; then the trial comes back to Carthage.
"Jury selection shall commence on July 11, 2011," Webb said. "This court shall retain jurisdiction to effectuate orders necessary to accomplish jury selection."
Upon completion of jury selection in Albemarle, the case is to return for the trial itself to Moore County where Stewart is being held in jail. Webb retained jurisdiction to the Superior Court of Moore County for all pre-trial and post-trial proceedings.
Webb entered his order in open court as a supplement to his previous Oct. 14 ruling denying a defense motion to move the trial itself. At that time he ordered jury selection alone take place in another county without specifying which it would be.
The jury selection order takes effect as if it had been made Nov. 5, 2010, Webb ordered.
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