Jury struck in Montgomery police officer’s murder trial
OZARK, Ala. (WSFA) - A jury has been seated in the trial for Montgomery police officer Aaron Cody Smith, who is charged with murder in the 2016 shooting death of Gregory Gunn.
The jury consists of six women and eight men. Nine of the jurors are white. Attorneys struck from a pool of about 40 potential jurors.
The jury selection began Monday. Fifty people showed up for jury duty Monday morning at the Dale County Courthouse in Ozark. More than 40 others who received summons didn’t show up. The state and defense spent a long time with the potential jurors, asking questions that would reveal any personal biases.
They discussed who was related to law enforcement officers, whether they’ve had a bad experience, and whether they believed an officer should be prosecuted in they broke the law in uniform.
None of the jurors said they had heard of this case prior to Monday.
Smith, a white police officer, fatally shot Gunn during a field interview on McElvey Street in February 2016. Gunn was a black man and unrest and tension in the city followed his death.
Earlier this year the Alabama Supreme Court granted a change of venue and appointed a retired judge to preside over the case.
Smith has exhausted all legal avenues to have this murder charge dismissed.
Smith was working alone on third shift the morning of the shooting and previously testified his district was “getting torn up with burglaries.”
During roll call that day, Smith said his lieutenant instructed him to “stop everything that moved” in his district.
He was arrested less than a week later on a murder charge.
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