By Dustin Dowdy for Sowegalive.com
On a rainy Tuesday afternoon at the federal courthouse in Albany, Ga., more than 70 jurors crowded the courtroom as the selection process played out.
Three former Decatur County Sheriff’s deputies and one former Grady county deputy have been indicted on several criminal charges stemming from an incident at the Bainbridge Bikefest grounds in 2012.
Today, the four defendants learned the identity of the jurors who will be deciding their respective guilt or innocence.
It’s a jury of 12 with 6 alternates — 10 men and 8 women. Most of the jurors appeared to be middle aged, with the few exceptions being older and younger women.
The jury selection process took three days. It began last Thursday and took all day Friday and Tuesday (Monday was a federal holiday).
Starting tomorrow, May 27, at 8:00 a.m. sharp, the jury will begin to hear evidence from both the government and defense as each side tries to convince them of their argument. Senior Judge W. Louis Sands set the trial schedule as 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, with a break for lunch. The hour of 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. is set aside for the attorneys and Judge Sands to handle any matters that require the jury to be outside of the courtroom.
At the prosecution’s table sits Risa Anne Berkower, flanked by Christine Siscaretti, the United States’ Attorneys tasked with proving the U.S. government’s case.
Sitting at the defense table will be Charles E Cox, Joshua Bell, Christina L Hunt and Kermit S. Dorough. These attorneys have been tasked with proving the innocence of Wiley Griffin IV, Elizabeth Croley, Robert Wade Umbach, and Christopher Kines.
Ronnie Aaron Parrish, whose civil rights were allegedly violated at the 2012 Bainbridge Bikefest, is also expected to be in the courtroom during the trial. While Parrish has filed a federal civil lawsuit, it is totally separate from this trial.
Presiding over the trial is the Honorable Judge Sands, who delivered thorough and precise instructions throughout the selection process. There is no doubt this trial will be by the book and everything completed in a timely, but strategic manner.
Sowegalive.com will have up-to-date details on a daily basis as the trial unfolds. Please stay tuned to our website and our radio stations for more details as they become available.