COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Jury selection has begun in the Quentin Smith murder trial.
Smith is accused of killing two Westerville Police officers — Anthony Morelli and Eric Joering — last year.
Joering and Morelli were fatally shot in February of 2018 after entering a townhome while responding to a domestic dispute.
Smith faces the death penalty if convicted.
On Friday, potential jurors were sworn in by Judge Richard Frye, who will be presiding over the trial.
Frye told them the court is looking for impartial jurors who will have an open mind and have no strong opinions about what Smith is accused of doing or of the death penalty itself.
“We do not want jurors who start trial with a strong preconceived idea about what happened in Westerville, or how this trial should be decided, particularly if it’s just based on media reports or other material,” Frye said. “You must, if you are on this jury, be able to be open-minded and set aside anything that you heard about this tragedy last year.”
While that may be what the court demands, both the prosecution and the defense have different agendas, according to Sam Shamansky, a local criminal defense attorney not associated with the case.
Jury selection for the case could take all of next week before attornies whittle down the 200 prospective jurors to 12 that meet the impartiality standard.