6 women, 6 men on nail gun jury | TheUnion.com

6 women, 6 men on nail gun jury

NAPA – Attorneys in the Richard Williams murder case picked a Napa County jury of six women and six men late Thursday afternoon, with three alternate female jurors, all set to begin hearing evidence this morning.

Nevada County Superior Court Judge Thomas Anderson plans to read instructions to the jury at 9 a.m. today, he said. After that, Nevada County Deputy District Attorney Kathryn Francis will give her opening statement.

Defense attorney Stephen Munkelt is scheduled to outline his case after Francis.

The jury selection process took four days, with both lawyers using several of their preemptory challenges to dismiss potential jurors without having to give any reasons. Munkelt dismissed a few jurors who had negative opinions about psychiatrists, along with a retired law enforcement officer and a retired school teacher. Francis dismissed a man who works closely with mentally ill people in crisis situations.

Dozens of other jurors were excused for cause, including work and emotional conflicts with the case. Munkelt and Francis both agreed to dismiss a juror who’s mother was murdered when she was a girl.

Williams is accused of killing his estranged wife, Hendrika “Hetty” Williams, with a nail gun before turning the weapon on himself in October 2005.

The trial is being held in Napa County Superior Court after Munkelt succeeded in applying for a change of venue. He had cited “incendiary” publicity that purportedly would taint the jury pool to his client’s disadvantage.


To contact Staff Writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail robynm@theunion.com or call 477-4236.

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