The second day of the Drew Mangler trial ended mid-afternoon, after jury selection. Opening arguments are expected tomorrow, weather permitting.
Mangler is charged with the first-degree murder of James Remakel of Bellevue in 2016.
Seventh District Court Judge Joel Barrows dismissed court earlier than usual this afternoon to avoid icy roads. Freezing rain is likely later in the day, with rain and snow also possible.
Mangler's attorney Derek Jones started questioning potential jurors at about 10 a.m. Tuesday. As Jones explained, attorneys do not get to select jurors but do get to "deselect" jurors. Each side can dismiss 11 potential jurors at the end of the process.
Fourteen jurors remained at the end of jury selection, including the 2 alternates.
Jones questioned potential jurors on their beliefs about presumptions of innocence, the right of a defendant not to testify against himself, and the degree of certainty a jury should have if they are to return a guilty verdict.
Jones also asked potential jurors about their ability to consider graphic evidence, such as autopsy photos.
Monday morning, 100 jurors had been called. Some have been weeded out of the pool of citizens who will decide the case, but dozens remained in the courtroom the next day.
On the first day of jury selection, prosecuting attorney Andrew Prosser of the Iowa State Attorney General’s office questioned potential jurors about their connections to Mangler, Remakel and those involved in the case.
In smaller communities, it can be a challenge to find people who aren’t connected in some way to those involved. Knowing someone involved doesn’t preclude someone from being a juror in a case, but those with close connections and strong feelings are typically dismissed.
Potential jurors came from around Jackson County.
The goal of jury selection is to find people to decide the case who will listen to evidence with an open mind and don’t bring their preconceptions to the courtroom.
Remakel was found dead in his home on Christmas Day, 2016. Mangler was charged in May of this year.
The trial is scheduled to last five days.