Jury Selection Under Way in Final Haddock Murder Trial
BY JOHN CHAPPELL
Eyewitness accounts of the murder of 12-year-old Emily Haddock will be heard this week in the trial of the final suspect charged in the case.
Jury selection began Monday in the trial of Perry Ross Schiro, who was indicted on charges of first-degree murder and accessory after the fact to first-degree murder. Only the accessory charge is being tried this week.
Senior Resident Superior Court Judge James M. Webb deferred judgment on a defense motion for a "speedy trial," asking the court require the state either to try or to dismiss the first-degree murder indictment.
Haddock was shot and killed in a home invasion on Sept. 11, 2007. Last August, Michael Graham Currie pleaded guilty to pulling the trigger in a deal that gave him life in prison without parole. Part of the deal included a full statement describing the crime.
Currie and others broke into the family's home on Marks Road. Haddock was home from school with strep throat. Currie shot Haddock in the mouth and the top of the head with a stolen .22-caliber pistol, according to his admission in an earlier hearing.
A statement given in support of his plea deal included a new claim - not made previously in any other statements by Currie and others - that he had told Schiro the gun he was giving him had been used to kill Haddock.
"That statement is not anywhere else," defense attorney Richard Roose said at an earlier hearing. Schiro's alleged hiding of the murder weapon is the basis of the accessory charge.
District Attorney Maureen Krueger, questioning prospective jurors, said Currie and others would be telling them what actually happened the day Haddock died.
"We are going to be giving you testimony of several who were involved in this," she said. "They are going to tell you what happened."
It will be the first time those details would be revealed in detail in open court.
"It will be pretty powerful testimony about the murder of a young girl," she said. "They will actually tell you what happened to Emily on the day she was murdered and what happened after that."
Krueger said the state will call Currie and Ryan White to the stand along with some 15 to 20 other witnesses from a four-page witness list originally submitted. She estimated the trial could be completed this week, depending on jury selection.
Until he has heard the state's case, Roose said he could not say what evidence the defense might call. A defendant is not required to put on any evidence, as the state has the burden of proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
There were a few pretrial motions before the court as jury selection was about to start.
"Because of widespread publicity, we need to speak to jurors on an individual basis," Roose said. "That is, with respect to pretrial publicity."
Krueger said the state would leave that to the court as selection proceeds. Webb said the court will allow such individual examinations if needed.
Webb turned to a previous defense motion "to reveal the deal" - a request Roose had made relating to any testimony a co-defendant might offer. He told Webb he was well satisfied with the information Krueger had been providing.
"The DA has been incredibly forthcoming," Roose said. "I don't need any clarification. I filed that motion in an abundance of caution."
Webb allowed the motion.
By the end of the day, a full panel of 12 satisfactory to the state had been seated. On Tuesday morning, Roose began examining them.
Contact John Chappell at email@example.com.
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