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Five jurors left to choose before Neville murder trial begins in N.L. court

Accused murderer Steven Neville sits in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in St. John's as jury selection for his trial gets underway earlier this week. So far, nine jurors have been selected to hear the case. Twelve jurors and two alternates are needed before the trial can start.
Accused murderer Steven Neville sits in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in St. John's as jury selection for his trial gets underway earlier this week. So far, nine jurors have been selected to hear the case. Twelve jurors and two alternates are needed before the trial can start. - Tara Bradbury

As of the end of Day 2, nine of the 12 jurors and two alternates had been selected

The murder trial of Steven Neville may get underway this afternoon, if five more jurors are chosen by then.

After two days of the jury selection process, nine jurors had been chosen to hear the case as of the end of Tuesday. A total of 12 jurors and two alternates are needed before the trial can get underway.

The reason the process has been so slow going is because the jury is being selected via a challenge for cause procedure; it's often used in cases that have seen extensive media coverage. Potential jurors are asked a series of questions to reveal any biases they might hold that would undermine their ability to be impartial.

The last time the procedure was implemented at Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in St. John's was about a year ago, when a jury was chosen to hear the trial of Brandon Phillips, who was later found guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Larry Wellman during an armed robbery.

Once selected, the jurors then become "triers," having a say in deciding whether or not to accept the subsequent potential jury members.
About 350 people were summoned for Neville's jury selection process, but that number has dwindled over the past two days.

Neville, 27, is charged with the murder of Doug Flynn and attempted murder of Ryan Dwyer during an altercation in the street on Carlisle Drive in Paradise in October 2010. Flynn was fatally stabbed in the head.

In addition to the attempted murder charge, Neville was originally charged with first-degree murder, and pleaded not guilty. A jury found him guilty of the lesser charge of second-degree murder after a trial in St. John's in 2013, but the conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court of Canada two years later.

That court found there were problems with the trial judge's instructions to the jury and ordered a new trial for Neville.

Ten weeks have been set aside for Neville's new trial.
Neville, who is not in custody, is represented this time around by lawyers Bob Buckingham and Robert Hoskins. The prosecutors are Jessica Gallant and Jason House.

Tara.bradbury@thetelegram.com
Twitter: @tara_bradbury

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