Jury selected for inquest

Dan Blasdel, Franklin County Coroner Dan Blasdel listens as Walla Walla County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Gabe Acosta questions potential jurors during the opening this morning of a coroner's inquest into the shooting death of Cesar Chavira.

Dan Blasdel, Franklin County Coroner Dan Blasdel listens as Walla Walla County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Gabe Acosta questions potential jurors during the opening this morning of a coroner's inquest into the shooting death of Cesar Chavira. Photo by Andy Porter.

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— It took Franklin County Coroner Dan Blasdel just over an hour to select six jurors and two alternates as the inquest into the shooting death of Cesar Chavira began this morning.

The inquest was called late last month by Walla Walla County Cornoer Richard Greenwood, who asked Blasdel to preside.

Chavira was shot May 4 by New York Store owner John Saul, who claimed self defense after the shooting, which sparked a number of protests in Walla Walla by Chavira’s friends and family. After Jury selection this morning, Carmelinda Alejandre, Chavira’s mother, stated she is still seeking justice for her son.

In interviews with reporters, Alejandre said she knows her son committed a crime, but she believes Saul did, too.

“My son was running,” Alejandre said. “Nothing happened inside the store. I want justice.”

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Gabriel Acosta conducted questioning during jury selection this morning, and asked jurors to identify anything that would prevent them from being fair and impartial during the inquest. Roughly 48 potential jurors were selected from the county jury pool, and narrowed down to just eight by 10:30. Several jurors were dismissed before final selection because they said they did not feel they could be fair and impartial. Seven of the final eight jurors are women.

The inquest was recessed following the final jury selection, and scheduled to resume at 1 p.m.

Comments

oneStarman 1 year, 8 months ago

USUALLY we want Experts in the Law - Namely Police Investigators and District Attorneys - to Decide whether an ACT is a Crime. SOMETIMES - Thankfully Rarely - we instead allow PUBLIC SENTIMENT - to Supersede the Law. That is How a LYNCH MOB works. I think it is SHAMEFUL that because Following the LAW would have been UNPOPULAR the Sheriff and DA shirked their duty.

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Chas 1 year, 8 months ago

The Coroner Inquest is too rarely used, I think. What is the truth of the event. We the people are to establish the law and interpret its benefit of application or not. I believe a Jury has the right to nullifcation of law if misapplied by overzealous prosecutors or police. That was a hard fought right dating from the Enlightenment, and, I've read, in some states, now a crime to mention at trial, in some states, a crime for a jury member to mention during deliberation. I expect any judge to be an honest arbiter and primarily to maintain order, decorum, and the correct application of procedure. I don't like the fact they're elevated above the floor of the Court, but grant its usefulness to be seen. When I rise for the judge's entry it is not to honor the person, but out of common respect for the Office and the Rule of Law. I've more faith in six jurors than any Prosecutor or Police Official.

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bluedevilcfmy 1 year, 8 months ago

"nothing happend inside the store?" I realize she is a grieving mother but the guy broke glass to get into a building to steal from a senior citizen/business owner & per John's statements threatened him. You want to blame someone 'mom' try talking to the (alleged) guy(s) that drove your son to the NY Store & then fled...

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