Evan Mecham's defense attorney says he's surprised that lawyers were able to find enough acceptable jurors for the ousted governor's criminal trial.
A 24-member panel was made final Wednesday after two days of juror questioning in Maricopa County Superior Court. This afternoon, prosecution and defense lawyers were to eliminate six members each to assemble the final eight-member jury with four alternates.Opening statements were scheduled for June 2 in the trial of the former governor and his brother, Willard, on charges of concealing a $350,000 campaign loan.
Mecham defense lawyer Michael Scott said he was surprised that enough acceptable panelists were found because of the extensive publicity surrounding the case.
"I really didn't know what to expect," Scott said.
The jurors and alternates are to be sworn in Friday, Superior Court Judge Michael Dann ruled.
Mecham could face up to 22 years in prison if convicted of all six felony counts of perjury, willful concealment and filing false documents. Willard Mecham, who was his brother's 1986 campaign treasurer, faces three similar counts and up to 91/2 years in prison if convicted.
The former Republican governor was removed from office April 4 when the Senate convicted him on two unrelated impeachment counts. He also had been impeached in connection with the $350,000 loan, but the Senate did not hear that charge for fear of prejudicing his criminal trial.
Thirteen of 37 possible jurors questioned during two days were eliminated for showing signs of bias or personal conflicts.