Jury selection moved more slowly than expected Monday in the opening day of the 2nd District Court trial of Thomas W. Randolph Jr., charged with murdering his wife in Clearfield in 1986.
Eleven of the 53 potential jurors called by Judge Rodney S. Page were dismissed during questioning in open court and only 17 of those remaining had been questioned in the judge's chambers by the end of the day.Court officials had hoped to have the 12-member jury seated by Monday afternoon and open the trial, at which up to 50 witnesses are expected to testify, on Wednesday morning.
But Wednesday's session will probably be devoted to completion of the jury selection, with the trial beginning Thursday. The proceedings are expected to run eight to 10 days, Page told the potential jurors.
In court, the potential jurors were asked if they own or have fired a handgun, belong to any pro- or anti-gun organizations and whether they had any bad experiences filing life insurance claims.
One woman was excused when she affirmed that viewing photographs of the murder victim, who died of a gunshot wound to the head, could leave her unable to proceed through the rest of the trial.
Randolph is charged with capital homicide in the November 1986 death of his wife, Rebecca. She was found shot once in the head in the bedroom of their Clearfield home.
Investigators, including the state medical examiner, initially ruled the death a suicide, but a continuing investigation by Clearfield police resulted in the murder charge being filed and Randolph's arrest last November.
In addition to facing the death penalty on the murder charge, Randolph is charged with a third-degree felony count of filing a false insurance claim.