JurJury seated in Williams murder trial - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Jury seated in Williams murder trial

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A Jury has been seated in the capital murder trial of Samuel Williams. 

He is one of the men charged in the brutal killing of a young couple in Springfield Township a year and a half ago.

If convicted, Williams could face the death penalty.

The fact that this is a capital murder trial makes jury selection much more in depth.  Thirty-three people made it through the preliminary individual interviews with the judge, lawyers, and defendant without being dismissed on Wednesday 

There were 40 more scheduled  for Thursday.

Judge Dean Mandros is met with each person asking their thoughts on capital punishment.

That's because the defendant Samuel Williams could face the death penalty if convicted.

The 24-year-old East Toledo man is charged with the brutal deaths of 20-year-old Lisa Straub and 21-year-old Johnny Clarke, a couple from Springfield Township.

The victims were found inside the home of Straub's parents on Longacre Lane in January of 2011 with their hands duct-taped behind their backs and plastic bags over their heads.

Another suspect Cameo Pettaway is charged in the same murder.  Both defendants are being tried at the same time but in separate courtrooms.

"It doesn't happen that often," says attorney Alan Konop, who is not involved in these murder trials.  Konop says these unusual logistics help the courthouse process.

"It's an issue of expediency," says Konop. "The same witnesses are probably going to be called each trial so this gets it all together at one time."

Konop says another benefit of running these trials simultaneously is its impact on the jury.

Having two separate juries at the same time avoids a potential problem of compiling a second jury pool later.

"Potential jurors in the second trial having be aware of the verdict in the first trial and the effect that having on their being eligible to be jurors," says Konop.

Addressing the more than six dozen prospective jurors on Tuesday in the Williams trial, Judge Dean Mandros issued a ban on information about Pettaway.

"It would be highly improper for you to read, hear, see or learn anything about that case," says Judge Dean Mandros.

Williams has pleaded not guilty. 

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