dr marten womens shoes Jury selection begins for Tech student charged with murder of 13
Update (2/5, 5:59 pm): A 14 member jury has been seated. on Feb. on Monday in the Montgomery County Courthouse to begin proceedings for the Commonwealth of Virginia v. David Eisenhauer. Eisenhauer, a former student at Virginia Tech, has been accused of first degree murder, abduction and concealing a body in connection to the death of Nicole Lovell, a 13 year old resident of Blacksburg, on or around Jan. 27, 2016.
Eisenhauer is being represented by a team of lawyers led by Roanoke attorneys Tony Anderson and John Lichtenstein, who The Roanoke Times described as “some of the highest profile defense attorneys in Western Virginia.” Commonwealth’s Attorney Mary Pettit is representing the Commonwealth, with the assistance of Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Patrick Jensen.
Turk began proceedings by denying a motion filed by the defense to suppress information from four hours of interrogation. According to the law, interrogation must cease after the right to counsel is invoked if counsel is not present. However, tapes from the interrogation show that discussion of the crime between law enforcement and Eisenhauer continued after Eisenhauer had invoked his right to counsel.
Citing Edwards v. Arizona, Turk claimed that not all conversation between law enforcement and a suspect after a request for counsel has been made is illegal. Turk continued that while discussion surrounding the crime was found in tapes of the interrogation, the court found that Eisenhauer was not coerced in any way to make statements about the crime. Additionally, Turk claimed that Eisenhauer even initiated conversation about the crime, despite being advised several times throughout the investigation that he did not need to do so.
Following the denial of the motion to suppress, Eisenhauer entered pleas of not guilty to the three crimes for which he is being tried.
Before accepting Eisenhauer’s plea, Turk asked several questions to determine that the pleas were made knowingly and intelligibly, including his education, social security number, if he was ready for trial and if he felt that he had received adequate counsel. Turk then accepted the pleas.
Once pleas were accepted, Turk invited the first group of jurors into the courtroom. Once being sworn in, jurors were asked a number of questions by the prosecution,
defense and Turk. Questions included if the jurors were familiar at all with the case, if they felt that they could be impartial and if they’d been exposed to any news media surrounding the case.
Jurors continued to explain their familiarity with the case. An overwhelming majority of the first pool of jurors expressed that they had some level of familiarity with the crime, whether it be through word of mouth or exposure to the story in the news.
Jurors were then asked to file out of the courtroom into a private seating area. Turk then emphasized to the attorneys representing the Commonwealth and Eisenhauer that jurors would not be dismissed for simply having prior knowledge of the crime, and would have to demonstrate that they would not be able to be impartial in decision making.
The prosecution and defense then began questioning jurors who had expressed familiarity with the case questions about their exposure to the case as jurors individually entered the courtroom.
Most jurors expressed that they had limited familiarity with the case and had either only heard about it through word of mouth or had only been exposed to news media surrounding it when the crime occurred about two years ago.
Juror No. 4, however, expressed an interest in following updates on the crime pretty closely in the news in the two years since Lovell’s death. Juror No. 4 admitted to having “sort of” an opinion, but would have no difficulty in being impartial throughout jury proceedings. The defense then made a motion to request that No. 4 be removed from the jury pool, but Turk denied the motion and claimed that the juror’s claim about being able to be impartial was sufficient.
After speaking to several more jurors individually, Turk announced that he would excuse jurors No. 2 and 13 for religious reasons.
After the first pool of jurors were questioned, the second pool was brought in. Prosecution then read its list of witnesses that had been subpoenaed. Witnesses included a medical examiner, employees of Virginia Tech, several citizen witnesses, as well as members of the Blacksburg Police Department, Christiansburg Police Department, Virginia Tech Police Department, Virginia State Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation and a forensics department. A couple of jurors knew the names of witnesses called.
Similar to the first pool, many people in the second pool were familiar with the crime to some extent. All jurors who were familiar with the case claimed that they could be impartial if selected to be jurors.
The defense then read its list of witnesses. One witness named is Natalie Keepers, who is also being charged in connection to Lovell’s death with being an accessory before the fact and concealing a dead body. Keepers’ trial is currently set to begin in September.
Jurors No. 17, 24, 25 and 27 were excused from the second pool for various reasons, including a work conference and a close relationship to Blacksburg Middle School, where Lovell was a student when she was murdered.
The defense requested the removal of juror No. 19 for involvement as a juror in a murder trial that took place in West Virginia,
but Turk struck down the request.