Attorney confident Zimmerman jury will be seated this week

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Attorney: Zimmerman jury will be seated this week

SANFORD, Fla. — A defense attorney in George Zimmerman’s murder trial said at the end of the first week of jury selection that he thinks a jury could be seated by the middle of this week.

After five days of the selection process, 29 potential jurors have passed through an initial round of questioning about what knowledge they have already gained through media and other means about the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in a Sanford, Fla., gated community.

“I know it’s slow-going to the outside, but it’s not slow-going to the inside,” defense attorney Mark O’Mara said. “I think it’s working out pretty well.”

O’Mara said that Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch leader, has been eager to have the actual trial process begin.

“He’s very encouraged because it’s finally on the way. He’s been waiting for 16 months for this process to start. He’s looking very forward to the resolution and the acquittal,” O’Mara said. “On the other hand, now it is real. And it’s very stressful because the preparation is great and now we’re in it.”

Prosecutors and defense attorneys want to build a pool of 40 potential jurors who have been screened for any influence of pretrial publicity before they move to a second round of questioning. Attorneys had interviewed 41 potential jurors over five days by the end of Friday.

At least 75 potential jurors already have been dismissed.

Attorneys need to find six jurors and four alternates. In Florida, 12 jurors are required only for criminal trials involving capital cases, when the death penalty is being considered.

Priceless: Two Boston parking spots for $560,000

LOS ANGELES — There’s nothing quite like having your own parking space when you live in a big city. Except perhaps having two of your own parking spaces, which is what one Bostonian has after bidding $560,000 at an auction.

The Internal Revenue Service put the spaces in the Back Bay area on the auction block Thursday after seizing the property from a tax-delinquent owner. It didn’t take long for the opening bid of $42,000 to be left in the dust as 22 people vying for the gray rectangles set off by white lines began upping the price.

“Two of the prettiest parking spaces I’ve ever seen!” auctioneer Tim Smith said as the sale began in a light drizzle on Public Alley 431, off Commonwealth Avenue.

“350, looking for 360!” Smith barked as bids for the adjacent spaces, officially known as spaces 3 and 6, soared into the six-figures. “550 looking for 560!” Smith brayed as he stood near the prized spaces.

Smith identified the purchaser as Bidder 9, but local media said it was Lisa Blumenthal, who lives next door to the spaces.

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