Anthony Baye Northampton murder and arso...
 
8:58
The prosecution and defense teams are in the courtroom awaiting the start of day two of jury selection. The first group of 100 prospective jurors will be brought into the courtroom momentarily.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 8:58 
9:02
Special prosecutor Brett Vottero heads the prosecution team, with Assistant District Attorneys Matthew Thomas and Thomas Townsend.

The defense team is made up of attorneys David Hoose and Thomas Lesser, assisted by paralegal Michelle Llosa.

Five jurors were selected Monday. Even if a jury is selected today, the plan is to have the trial start Wednesday.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 9:02 
9:07
Court officers are telling the jury pool members to slide in on the benches to fit as many people in the courtroom as possible. "It's going to be a little tight for a while," one court officer says.

Everyone has been give a copy of the witness list to review, as they will be asked later if they know anyone on it.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 9:07 
9:12
The courtroom is full of prospective jurors and everyone is awaiting Judge Constance M. Sweeney.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 9:12 
9:21
Judge Sweeney has taken the bench. She tells the crowd what case is being tried, then introduces all the lawyers.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 9:21 
9:24
Sweeney says she will continue to remind people Anthony Baye has pleaded innocent to all charges.

The judge now starts to read the list of 36 crimes with which Baye is charged, starting with the two counts of murder of Paul Yeskie and Paul Yeskie Jr. and the arson of their home in Northampton.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 9:24 
9:28
The counts cover arsons of buildings and autos, and armed burglaries, at various locations in Northampton on Dec. 27, 2009. When the jury is chosen jurors will be brought by bus to Northampton to see the locations of the charged crimes.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 9:28 
9:31
Six of the charges allege Baye misled police officers on several different days in their investigation of the fires Dec. 27, 2009.

The prosecution's witness list includes 23 Northampton police officers; 30 members of the Massachusetts State Police; three officers from the Smith College Public Safety Department; 75 civilians; one member of Northampton Public Safety Department; a medical examiner; one Amherst Fire Department member; and seven members of the Northampton Fire Department. Sweeney told prospective jurors the witnesses would not all be called.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 9:31 
9:36
Sweeney is now reading all the names on the witness list. It is unusual to have prospective jurors handed a witness list. Sweeney said there are so many names on the list she wants everyone to be able to remember them.

A decision to have jurors selected from Hampden County was made because of extensive pretrial publicity in the Northampton area. Late last week Sweeney announced the whole trial would be transferred to Hampden Superior Court.

Tuesday May 7, 2013 9:36 
9:42
Sweeney begins the group questioning of the jury pool, which precedes individual questioning.

A total of 18 people raise their hand when asked if they know anyone on the witness list.

Three people say they have formed an opinion of this case or type of case.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 9:42 
9:51
Fourteen people say they would believe the testimony of a police officer over a civilian.

Asked if anyone has heard about this case, 72 people answered in the affirmative.

A total of 24 people say they have been victims of a home or car fire, no matter how the fire started.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 9:51 
9:54
Asked if graphic photos or testimony would keep them from being fair, 25 people indicated it would.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 9:54 
9:56
The percentage of people in the room who have heard of this case is very high, compared to most cases in which a jury is being selected.

The fact people have heard of the case does not preclude them from serving. They will be asked at the judge's sidebar if what they have heard will affect their ability to be fair.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 9:56 
10:02
Judge Sweeney now asks if the prospective length of the trial - which could be up to three weeks - would present a "serious and significant" business or personal problem, 59 people said yes.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 10:02 
10:11
The judge has called a short break. The five jurors who were selected Monday were asked to report today at 10:15 a.m. so they could be in the jury box by the start of individual questioning at the judge's bench.

The judge also told prospective jurors they could use the rest room but only about five people at a time would be allowed out of the courtroom so there would not be a mass exodus and the possibility of people getting lost in the courtroom.

Right now there is a line in the courtroom of about 40 people waiting for their turn to leave.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 10:11 
10:12
[Comment From JC JC : ] 
Is Baye's family in the courtroom?
Tuesday May 7, 2013 10:12 JC
10:12
It appears no one is in the courtroom but the prospective jurors.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 10:12 
10:14
Judge Sweeney - at the end of jury selection Monday - said the length of the trial appeared to be the biggest impediment to seating jurors.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 10:14 
10:27
Court is still in a break as prospective jurors are not all back in the courtroom.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 10:27 
10:47
The five jurors - four women and one man - selected Monday are now sitting in the jury seats.

The prosecution and defense must use their challenges at the sidebar conferences so once a juror is seated he or she cannot be challenged.

Now the long process of individual questioning has begun.

It is up to the defense if a defendant wants to stand at sidebar with his lawyers or remain seated at the defense table. Baye is standing at sidebar with Hoose, Lesser, Llosa, Vottero, Thomas and Townsend.

The first three people are quickly excused by the judge.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 10:47 
10:52
The sixth juror - a man - has been seated.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 10:52 
11:00
About a dozen people have been excused by the judge so far.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 11:00 
11:02
[Comment From AL AL : ] 
How many jurors are needed?
Tuesday May 7, 2013 11:02 AL
11:09
Although only 12 jurors will ultimately deliberate, 16 will be chosen for the start of the trial.

A judge can decide how many extra jurors to select, usually based on the length of the trial.

With four extra, there is less chance jurors who may have to be excused during the trial will mean there are not 12 left at the end.

All 16 hear evidence, it is only at the last minute, right before deliberations, that the four who will be alternates are randomly selected.

It is fairly unusual to have jurors excused during trials but it can happen. I have seen times during a long trial where a juror is excused for a death or illness in the family.

I also have seen times when a juror sees a witness called, and only then realizes that he or she knows the witness by sight, even though they did not recognize the name when the witness list was read during jury selection.

At that point there will be questioning of the juror, and both sides will weigh in as to whether the juror will be excused.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 11:09 
11:11
The seventh juror has been seated.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 11:11 
11:18
Now more than three dozen people have been excused.

If a jury is not selected from the more than 100 brought into the courtroom this morning, there are another 100 or more jurors available today.

Sweeney had arranged to have extra people called in for the jury pool for this trial.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 11:18 
11:29
One man has been deemed fair by the judge, but is challenged by one side so is excused.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 11:29 
11:35
We're up to prospective juror number 53 being questioned, still only the two selected so far today.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 11:35 
11:42
An eighth juror has been selected, making five women and three men.

The jurors selected so far are sitting patiently in the jury box, watching the selection process.

It is just a preview of the hours, days and weeks they will sit patiently there, sometimes listening to testimony, sometimes sitting as judge and lawyers confer at sidebar.


Tuesday May 7, 2013 11:42 
11:47
A woman has made it past the judge's scrutiny for fairness but was challenged by one side.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 11:47 
11:51
The lawyers were all given copies of questionnaires prospective jurors filled out in the jury room. They can be seen consulting them at sidebar.

At times Baye looks at a questionnaire held by one of his lawyers, but for the most part he is standing silently beside Lesser.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 11:51 
11:55
Just to repeat: Even if a jury is selected today, the trial is not scheduled to begin until tomorrow.

Another person approved by the judge has been challenged by lawyers. Each side is allowed 16 challenges.

The challenges are done at sidebar so I cannot report who is using challenges.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 11:55 
11:56
We're up to prospective juror number 71.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 11:56 
11:58
A ninth juror is seated.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 11:58 
12:06
Among cases prosecuted by Vottero while he was an assistant Hampden district attorney was the 2007 case which ended up in the conviction of Brian K. Cavitt for murdering an elderly couple and setting fire to their Carew Street home.

After he was found guilty, Cavitt admitted at his sentencing he killed the couple.

"I did kill them," he said of Edelmira Miranda, 67, and Milagros R. Rosario, 69. "I didn't want to."

When the verdict was announced many of the about two dozen family members and friends of the victims, in court through the trial with Victim-Witness Advocate Kathleen O'Connor, cried.

Cavitt, of Springfield, was also found guilty of one count each of arson, armed robbery while masked and assault and battery. The armed robbery was at the Big Y supermarket and he was trying to hide from police when he went to the apartment of the couple, whom he did not know.

The arson count is from the at least two fires Cavitt set to cover evidence, including one fire set on Eldelmira Miranda's bedclothes as she lay in bed and one near Rosario's body.





Tuesday May 7, 2013 12:06 
12:19
There are about 20 people left in the room to be questioned from this pool.

A second pool of about 100 people will be brought in when this pool is exhausted.

Tuesday May 7, 2013 12:19 
12:23
Juror number 10 has been seated. So far six women and four men.

Strangers now, they will get to know each other very well through the multi-week trial.

As judges at trials instruct jurors, they can talk with each other about everything but the one thing that has brought them together - the trial they are hearing.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 12:23 
12:35
People who the judge deems fair are asked to step back, while each side confers amongst itself as to whether they will use a challenge. For the last person, there was much discussion on each side but finally one side used a challenge.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 12:35 
12:41
An 11th juror was just seated.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 12:41 
12:45
A 12th juror has been selected. We now have six men and six women.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 12:45 
12:53
So, with more than 100 people questioned today so far, seven jurors have been added to the five chosen Monday. That leaves four more empty seats.

A new pool of about 80 people will be questioned beginning at 2 p.m.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 12:53 
2:12
The afternoon session of jury selection is about to start. A total of 97 people from the jury pool are entering the courtroom.

This is a different pool than was questioned this morning. Four more jurors are needed.

People are being given a list of potential witnesses and those sitting around me are commenting to each other as they realize it is "the Northampton fire case."

Tuesday May 7, 2013 2:12 
2:15
For people who are sending questions I will answer questions if I can. In some cases, especially when asked about my opinion, I can't answer with any certainty.

Tuesday May 7, 2013 2:15 
2:17
Judge Sweeney apologizes to the jury pool for the long wait they have had since this morning to be brought into a courtroom.

She is introducing prosecutors and lawyers, and then will relate the charges against Baye.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 2:17 
2:21
The judge now starts to read the list of 36 crimes with which Baye is charged, starting with the two counts of murder of Paul Yeskie and Paul Yeskie Jr. and the arson of their home in Northampton.

The counts cover arsons of buildings and autos, and armed burglaries, at various locations in Northampton on Dec. 27, 2009. When the jury is chosen jurors will be brought by bus - most likely Wednesday - to Northampton to see the locations of the charged crimes.

Tuesday May 7, 2013 2:21 
2:22
[Comment From Lary Lary : ] 
This, like the earlier trial coverage, is fabulous. Will there be any coverage of the Hoffman federal trial that started yesterday?
Tuesday May 7, 2013 2:22 Lary
2:23
From the editors: Yes, we're covering the Hoffman trial. No live coverage, but we'll have
frequent (if not daily) updates.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 2:23 
2:28
The procedure this afternoon will be exactly the same as it was Monday morning and this morning with different jury pools.

So at the risk of repeating myself:

Six of the charges allege Baye misled police officers on several different days in their investigation of the fires Dec. 27, 2009.

Sweeney is reading the long list of possible witnesses.

It includes 23 Northampton police officers; 30 members of the Massachusetts State Police; three officers from the Smith College Public Safety Department; 75 civilians; one member of Northampton Public Safety Department; a medical examiner; one Amherst Fire Department member; and seven members of the Northampton Fire Department. Sweeney told prospective jurors the witnesses would not all be called.



Tuesday May 7, 2013 2:28 
2:40
Nineteen people raise their hands when asked if they know any people on the witness list.

Asked if anyone has any bias or prejudice with respect to this case four people raise their hands.

When asked if they or any family member has been employed by law enforcement, 16 people answer in the affirmative.

Tuesday May 7, 2013 2:40 
2:47
Fourteen people say they would be more likely to believe testimony of law enforcement personnel than a civilian witness.

Asked if graphic photos or testimony would interfere with the ability to be fair, 16 people said yes.

A total of 76 people raised their hands when asked if they had heard or read anything about this case. That is a very large percentage compared to most cases.

Tuesday May 7, 2013 2:47 
2:53
This is the question about whether the length of the trial - up to three weeks - would cause a serious or significant problem. For this, 54 people said yes.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 2:53 
3:01
Twenty five people say they have been a victim of a fire - property, auto or home - no matter how it was set.

The 12 jurors already seated Monday and Tuesday morning are now brought back into the jury seats.

Sweeney explains that now everyone will be questioned individually at sidebar.



Tuesday May 7, 2013 3:01 
3:08
The first 5 people are excused by the judge.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 3:08 
3:15
Four more jurors are excused.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 3:15 
3:24
If a judge deems a prospective juror fair, prosecution and defense must decide if they wish to use one of their 16 challenges. For the last two people, the discussions by each side took several minutes, but each was ultimately challenged.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 3:24 
3:27
No progress in seating more jurors yet in the afternoon session. People keep being excused.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 3:27 
3:37
We have the first juror seated in the afternoon session. The total is now 13, seven women and six men. Three more seats to be filled. Although nearly 30 people have been excused this afternoon, there are nearly 70 left in the courtroom.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 3:37 
3:48
Judge Sweeney has not said how long she will go this afternoon to try to get the three remaining jurors chosen. On a typical court day, the sessions wrap up about 4 p.m., or 4:30 at the latest.

But in many ways, particularly in the large jury pool called in, this is not a typical case.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 3:48 
3:53
Another juror excused by a challenge by lawyers. Since the challenges are not done publicly I do not know how many each side has left.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 3:53 
4:00
The fourteenth juror has been selected.

Tuesday May 7, 2013 4:00 
4:13
The fifteenth juror is seated. We now have nine women and six men. One more juror is needed.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 4:13 
4:14
More than 50 people have been questioned and excused to get the three jurors so far this afternoon.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 4:14 
4:23
Jury selection continues in the quest for one more juror. Many people are being excused in rapid succession these last five minutes.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 4:23 
4:28
Jury selection has ended for the day with one more juror needed. Sweeney tells those 25 or so people remaining in the jury pool she had made a commitment to get previously seated jurors out of court by this time and "I'm not going to break faith with them."
Tuesday May 7, 2013 4:28 
4:40
Sweeney said lawyers brought to her attention the fact there may be bad weather tomorrow for a view of the crime sites in Northampton. She said she will seat the final juror tomorrow and swear in the jury but they will have a short day.

She said there are other matters needing to be taken care of outside of the jurors hearing.

Sweeney told jurors trial opening statements and the view will be Thursday.

There are certain prospective witnesses that will be called in for a voir dire, or questioning outside of the jury's hearing, on Wednesday to see if they will be allowed to testify to certain things.

They are two of the prosecution's civilian witnesses, David Gerwe and Robert St. Cyr.
Tuesday May 7, 2013 4:40 
 
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