Jury selection continues in nail gun trial | TheUnion.com

Jury selection continues in nail gun trial

NAPA – Opening statements in the nail gun murder trial of Richard Williams, originally scheduled to begin Tuesday afternoon in Napa, most likely will start Thursday morning.

“We’re not likely to start opening statements (Wednesday),” defense attorney Stephen Munkelt said before going into the judge’s private chambers for a conference at the criminal courthouse in downtown Napa on Tuesday, the second day of jury selection.

The trial was moved from Nevada County to Napa after Munkelt requested a change of venue, granted by Nevada County Superior Court Judge Robert Tamietti.

Tamietti told Munkelt and Deputy District Attorney Kathryn Francis earlier this month to try to have jury selection wrapped up in Napa by Tuesday afternoon.

However, Tamietti was disqualified from hearing the trial because of social relationships linking him to victim Hendrika Williams.

Nevada County Superior Court Judge Thomas Anderson now is hearing the case.

More than 80 potential jurors filled out questionnaires Tuesday morning. One juror was excused because the court cannot accommodate her disability, Anderson said.

Munkelt and Francis were scheduled to review the questionnaires Tuesday night, then begin oral questioning of jurors at 9 a.m. today.

A bailiff outside the courtroom Tuesday commented that Nevada County criminal justice appeared to him to move slower than Napa County’s courtroom proceedings.

“If Napa (County Superior Court) was handling this, we would have had a jury selected by now,” the bailiff said.


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

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