Antonio Glover trial 8-10-12

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 10, 2012

Sequestered jury will decide next trial

By Billy Davis

Twelve jurors and two alternates will pack a bag for a sequestered jury trial in Sardis, which begins Monday morning with jury selection.

And there will be a lot more suitcases in the parking lot, too. That’s because as many as 300 potential jurors have been summoned for the jury pool, each one instructed by Circuit Judge Smith Murphey to be ready to serve as a sequestered juror.

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Antonio Glover, of Como, will stand trial Monday for the 2011 murder of Tommy “Burnside” Moore, also of Como.

Authorities allege Glover was the ringleader who kidnapped Moore, then tortured and killed him, when they suspected Moore had stolen drugs from them.

Moore’s body was found seven days after he went missing. An autopsy concluded he died of gunshot wounds, though the body had been burned, too.

Two other defendants are also charged with capital murder, four face charges for burning down Glover’s home to hide evidence of the crime, and an eighth person is suspected of attempting to clean up the crime scene and automobile that allegedly transported the body.

District Attorney John Champion, who is leading the prosecution, is seeking the death penalty for Glover.

It’s been at least a decade since Panola Countians served in a sequestered jury, Murphey told The Panolian recently.

He explained that a death penalty case requires a sequestered jury and the sequestered jury then triggers other requirements for jurors.

“By law, once selected, the jury will be kept together as a group and will not be allowed to return home until the trial is finally concluded,” Murphey wrote in a letter sent to the potential jurors.

The letter also asks jurors to “pack a suitcase” and instructs them to keep cell phones at home.

Court officials familiar with next week’s jury trial told The Panolian that televisions will be removed from hotel rooms and jurors will be allowed to use a pool phone to contact family members.

The 12 jurors and two alternates will presumably contact family members for the first time when they reach the hotel, using the pool phone.

Court officials have also said jury selection includes a one-on-one interview with each potential juror, with the judge present as well as prosecutors and defense attorneys. The selection of a jury will likely take all of Monday and go into the night, The Panolian has learned.

To speed up interviews, Judge Murphey mailed potential jurors a four-page questionnaire. Employment history, past courtroom experience, and educational background are among questions.

On page four, Question No. 29 asks potential jurors, “What do you think of the death penalty?”

The seated jury must first decide Glover’s guilt or innocence, and if found guilty, jurors must decide the crime warrants the death penalty, said Assistant District Attorney Jay Hale.