A judge has rejected claims that Salt Lake County's jury pool has too few Minority members, clearing the way for jury selection to begin Wednesday in David Franklin Young's first-degree murder trial.
Attorneys for Young, who is charged in the 1987 death of a Salt Lake County woman, had argued that Hispanics in particular are under-represented in the jury pool, which is drawn from lists of registered voters and people with Utah drivers' licenses.Young, 29, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Ember Kimberly Mars, 27, whose body was found Aug. 19, 1987, in her home at 6262 Dewdrops Drive, in the Oquirrh Shadows subdivision southwest of Kearns.
Detectives said Mars, whose body was found in her apartment, had been raped, stabbed and beaten.
On Tuesday, 3rd District Judge Timothy Hanson said his own review of the pool showed that Hispanics were well-represented in the pool.
"The ratio of Hispanics is almost exactly the same as the ratio of Hispanics in the general population in the community," Hanson said. "It represents a fair cross-section of the community."
In turning down the defense motion to dismiss the 75-member jury pool, Hanson ordered the jury selection process to begin Wednesday. If the high court agrees to hear an appeal, he said he would halt the trial.
"As soon as the Supreme Court assumes jurisdiction, I will cease the proceedings," Hanson said. "(But) until I am advised the Supreme Court will assume jurisdiction, this case will proceed . . . There is no guarantee the Supreme Court will take the case."