Potter trial move into third week

• A female juror with a familiar name has been brought in as the lack of an alternate juror means another juror may be excluded before the trial is over.

• Three people have been excused before today’s jury selection can start, including a history teacher who said she “loves” the defendant and learned about the case from the TV news.

• The judge Friday ruled that the alleged victim will have immunity from potential witnesses, thus helping to overcome her self-defense argument. The judge made no ruling on the request of the defense to exclude three witnesses who have alleged that the defendant injured them in a dispute that occurred six months after the alleged assault.

• The judge ruled the unnamed juror, who was brought in today, must not be exposed to anything she learns during the trial, including evidence that will be presented during the questioning of witnesses.

That means a lone juror will remain on the case after the third person was discharged Friday and a fourth was removed last week. A fifth and sixth are on standby.

Erie County judge Thomas Franczyk announced Wednesday night that four jurors have been seated in the trial of Kim Potter, who was charged with beating a woman with a piece of wood in 2008.

Potter, 38, of Buffalo, is accused of being involved in a confrontation at the Lovejoy apartment complex that resulted in Crystal Riley, 42, breaking her jaw. Riley said Potter attacked her with a piece of wood after she became enraged that Potter’s boyfriend, Timothy Sweat, had left her.

In a preliminary hearing last October, however, Sweat denied leaving Riley because of anger at Riley’s dating history with his girlfriend, Ryan Guy, whom he also was with at the time.

The trial is scheduled to begin Wednesday.

The judge, at the request of prosecutors, has already dismissed three people who have admitted that they were sexually aroused by the news of the case. They also were informed that they cannot be mentioned during the jury selection process.

The judge previously decided that jurors who are interested in the case can not speak to their spouses, do homework about the case or email their children about it.

Potter’s trial is the third trial to deal with the case in the past five years.

In March 2010, Cornelius Wood and William Martinez, who are not related to Kim Potter, were found guilty of mob action and attempted assault in the assault on Riley. But they were acquitted of hate crimes and other charges. They received sentences of 1 1/3 to 3 years in prison.

Also in March 2010, Sweat was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison on charges of mob action, assaulting an officer, second-degree robbery and second-degree criminal contempt.

email: [email protected]

Leave a Comment