Judge Selects New Grand Jury

A new grand jury is selected and sworn in to serve for the next six months in Leon County.
Members will have their hands full deciding whether there is sufficient evidence in all first degree murder cases including the Hoffman case.
25-year-old Andrea Green and 23-year-old Deneilo Bradshaw have been arrested but not yet charged with the murder of 23-year-old Rachel Hoffman.
Hoffman was killed in May while working as a confidential informant for the Tallahassee Police Department.
The grand jury that was selected Wednesday will most likely be the one reviewing the evidence in that case to determine whether it should go to trial.
State Attorney Willie Meggs said, "This grand jury will consider all of the cases that come up between now and December 2nd."
Former Assistant State Attorney Warren Goodwin says all first degree murder cases have to first go through a grand jury.
In Leon County, 21 citizens are selected and at least 15 have to be present to meet and review a case.
Goodwin says the jury will review evidence, including testimonies, then everyone must leave the courtroom so the grand jury can decide in private.
Tallahassee resident Kristina McKinney said, "I think it's a good idea because one person shouldn't decide somebody's fate. Then you get different views from it, too, so it's just not one-sided."
At least 12 of the grand jurors have to agree that there is reason without a doubt to file charges.
Wednesday's grand jury selection took about two hours,which State Attorney Meggs says is not unusual.
Meggs says the grand jury will re-convene in July to set dates for all of the cases it will review.
Because everything in a grand jury is confidential, Meggs couldn't tell us if Green's attorney went ahead as planned and asked potential jurors extra questions to ensure an unbiased jury.
This same grand jury will also hear evidence in another well publicized local murder case.
The murder case of Crawfordville woman Cheryl Dunlap who was found dead in the Apalachicola National Forest in December. Sixty-one year old Gary Michael Hilton is being held responsible for her murder.


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