George Zimmerman trial: Dismissed juror returns, causes stir - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

George Zimmerman trial: Dismissed juror returns, causes stir

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SANFORD, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -

A juror in the George Zimmerman trial who had been dismissed caused a stir during jury selection Friday after he returned to the Seminole County courthouse and complained about the jury process.

The dismissed juror, Jerry Counelis, said he was concerned about losing his privacy, according to a Seminole Sheriff's Office report. He pointed to the assembly room and asked, "Do they know what they're in for?" the report said.

Counelis was given a trespass warning and told not to return after the trial.

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During court Wednesday, the self-described musician and painter told attorneys he didn't have an opinion on the case. But the defense discovered a Facebook posting on a page called the "Coffee Party Progressives, a liberal group. The posting was about Trayvon Martin.

"I just want to know if that's your posting," Circuit Judge Debra Nelson asked him.

"Yes," he replied.

Defense attorney Mark O'Mara said the incident could have cost taxpayers thousands of dollars in damage.

"It's devastating to a case to have a juror who has an agenda, but it's really devastating to the system, because we start losing faith in the system," he said.

Meanwhile, O'Mara was seen in court during day five of jury selection Friday shaking hands with Trayvon Martin's family attorney, Benjamin Crump. O'Mara is trying to schedule a deposition with Crump to find out what he knows about Martin's girlfriend, who was on the phone with him night of his death.

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"We did not make a decision when," O'Mara said.

After Friday's session ended, defense attorney Mark O'Mara said he was confident he could pick a jury in Seminole.

"Personally, I'm very happy about that," O'Mara said. "We're making good progress that jurors, for the most part are being honest and straightforward."

To date, 28 people have made it through the first round of juror interviews and were ordered to return Tuesday. Attorneys on both sides agree they want to get that number to 40 to bring them back for group questioning. Two were dismissed Friday.

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Prosecutors and defense attorneys need to find six jurors and four alternates to sit on the jury for Zimmerman's trial. The judge said Thursday that jurors picked to serve will be sequestered during the two weeks to a month that the trial will last.

In a separate hearing, Nelson scheduled an audio expert to testify for the defense at 4 p.m. Monday. The unfinished hearing will determine whether experts who analyzed a 911 call made the night of Martin's shooting will be allowed to testify during the trial.

Jury selection continues Monday.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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