Jury selection continues in Brandon Daniel trial - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Jury selection continues in Brandon Daniel trial

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Potential jurors filed into a Travis County courtroom Tuesday morning to begin the second phase of the jury selection process in the Brandon Daniel capital murder trial. Earlier this month, nearly 400 potential jurors were asked to fill out a questionnaire about their backgrounds and opinions on things like capital punishment.

"It's very important because people have very strong opinions about the death penalty, capital punishment," says Daniel's attorney Russell Hunt. "Austin is a very unique community where people have very strong opinions on both sides."

Hunt says he did not request a change of venue for this case because he believes attorneys will find a fair jury in Travis County.

"We think lots of folks have heard things, but that doesn't mean they can't be fair about the situation."

In April 2012, APD officer Jaime Padron responded to a 9-1-1 call at a North Austin Wal-Mart where he was shot and killed by Daniel. Following Padron's funeral, hundreds of Austin residents lined the streets and overpasses along the procession route to pay their respects. That showing of support is part of the reason why prosecutors with the Travis County district attorney's office have said it was important this case go to trial, despite Daniel's attorneys trying to settle out of court.

Since the 26-year-old faces the death penalty if convicted, attorneys will take their time to carefully select each juror.

"There's a concern always when there's a high profile case that folks have made up their minds before the trial, won't listen to the evidence. That's an important part of the jury selection process, to figure out those folks who have already made up their minds," said Hunt.

The pool of about 400 potential jurors was divided into groups of 70 and will be called to the Travis County Justice Complex over the next few days. Those who are asked to come back will go through voir dire where attorneys will individually question the potential jurors. The selection process is expected to last several weeks. Opening statements are scheduled for February.

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