The jury selection process for the murder-for-hire trial for Dalia Dippolito will now extend into Monday. Judge Glenn Kelley questioned 100 potential jurors Thursday. More than half of the pool admitted to seeing or hearing some reports about the case.
Finding people who have not seen the "COPS" TV show episode that featured Dippolito or any news reports is proving to be a challenge.
"We're not discouraged by that, in fact we expected that. This case has been in the media for 5-6 years, 6-7 years," said Brian Claypool, Dippolito's attorney.
Hands raised, one by one more than half of 100 potential jurors including men and women admitted to knowing something about the murder-for-hire case against Dippolito.
"Just hearing your synopsis of the case reminded me of the hiring of the individual to commit the act," said one juror.
Judge Glenn Kelley briefly summarized the case for potential jurors, telling them Dippolito was accused of hiring someone to kill her husband. By a show of hands, Judge Kelley learned how many jurors he'd have to question one by one in an effort to avoid seating a tainted jury.
Many jurors said they remember seeing video of a staged crime scene on the TV show "COPS" where Dippolito was told her husband was dead.
"Seeing that film repeated over and over throughout the years," said one juror.
Some told the Judge they already had their mind made up about whether Dippolito is innocent or guilty.
"I have been married for 43 years and don’t believe I could be impartial," said a juror.
More than 50 percent of the jurors who admitted to knowing about the case were dismissed from service, most because they had preconceived notions. Others said despite what they have seen in the media, they could remain impartial.
In 2011, Dippolito was convicted and sentenced to 20 years. She appealed that conviction and won, forcing the case to be retried.
There were an additional 100 jurors who were asked to return Friday morning. Another group released earlier Thursday will be back Monday morning to complete the jury selection process. Many jurors were also dismissed because of financial or medical hardships. The trial is still slated to begin Monday.