Jury selection has begun in the trial of Drew Mangler, charged with the first-degree murder of James Remakel in Bellevue in 2016.
One hundred people were called to the Jackson County courthouse at 8:30 Monday morning. The line before the metal detector snaked through the courthouse.
Before attorneys began questioning potential jurors, those called in watched a video explaining jury responsibilities. In the morning and continuing into the afternoon, prosecuting attorney Andrew Prosser of the Iowa state attorney general's office asked potential jurors if they knew Mangler or his family members, the deceased James Remakel or his family members or others involved in the case.
Prosser also asked if potential jurors had heard anything about the case or if that would keep them from listening to evidence with an open mind.
Potential jurors cannot talk to others during the course of the case or investigate the case independently, unless they are dismissed from duty on the case.
At about 11:30 a.m., the court excused most of the jurors while attorneys questioned some potential jurors who knew Mangler and his family.
After reconvening two hours later, questioning continued. Some potential jurors were dismissed and others called forward.
Prosser asked jurors casual questions about their family members, work and hobbies. "A lot of hunters here," he joked.
Defense attorneys haven't weighed in yet with questions for potential jurors though they were present when potential jurors were questioned in private as well as throughout the proceedings. Mangler sat alongside his attorneys.
Prosser asked potential jurors' attitudes toward law enforcement and how they would deal with any graphic evidence that could be presented in the case.
At 4:30 p.m., the judge excused the dozens of people still gathered in the courtroom for the day. Jury selection will continue at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning, with opening arguments likely later in the day.
The trial is scheduled for five days. Mangler is charged in the December 2016 death of Remakel, who was found on Christmas Day in his Riverside Drive home in Bellevue. Remakel had been stabbed many times.
Mangler was charged in May of this year with first-degree murder in the case.