Kappa Hazing Trial, Round Two

By: Leonard Horton Email
By: Leonard Horton Email

Five FAMU students are on trial accused of severely beating a fraternity pledge this spring.

This the second time this case has made it to the courtroom. The first trial ended two months ago in a hung jury.

Attorneys say they're looking for six jurors who can be fair and who were not exposed to the national media coverage the first time around.

The first day of jury selection started with a search for Defense Attorney Richard Keith Alan.

"See if you can get to him and find out what he is doing,” says Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Dekker to Defense Attorney Chuck Hobbs. "My own speculation is that he and his client are at the (DCA) First District Court of Appeal trying to get some sort of imagery stay. He needs to be here," adds Dekker.

Arriving about an hour late, Alan rushes in.

Court records show he filed a motion for dismissal on behalf of his client, Jason Harris. The motion suggests the last trial ended in a hung jury because Judge Dekker refused to give a substantive definition of serious bodily injury.

"We still don't have an answer for serious bodily injury and that continues to remain a concern from the defense perspective and probably from the state's perspective as well," says Hobbs, who believes attorneys can find six jurors who will be able to pay attention to the facts and not the months of media coverage.

There are close to 20 witnesses on the defense and prosecution's lists. This trial is expected to last about a week.

Hobbs says he is not sure if any of the five defendants will take the stand.


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