JT Colfax in Denver, Colorado
Tuesday, May 29, 2001
and AWAY we go......I got notes, but iM ALSO TRYING TO EAT, iM STARVING, so first I'll just TELL IT, then go thru notes, NOT that there is MUCH:
Things started late which is good cuz so did I.
The courtroom is ugly, wood-panalled, and cramped with drawing boards etc. Linda Arndt did not appear to be winking and blinking. Somber atmospere on BOTH sides.
Monsewer Beckner sat next to Monsewer KOBY, and I never saw them exchange a word tho there was a LONG time b4 the judge got here.
The tables were placed in such a way so that Arndt had her back to bec/koby.
Beckner is a PEN-SUCKER, whereas Koby sits and writes.
At long last sumpin is about to happen, and the clerk comes and asks Monsewer Brennan and I to move to the other side of the spectators rows. We were on the bride's side (arndt)....then they bring in 32 prospective jurors....then the judge enters. He is william f. downes, and he is handling this case as an overflow favor to the denver district. He usually presides in Casper Wyoming. He attempted some HUMOUR a few times, but, fell FLAT each time.
Then JAMESON came STORMING in and stunned everyone.
okay, strike that Jameson remark from the record, she wasn't there as far as I know, unless there is a shower somewhere in the bldg with a closed circuit system she could mistake as eine vision.
ONWARDS,...okay,...here's more reality....
The prosective jurors were a good mix of men and women, but only about 3 blacks, and a few mehicanos.
Les Judge launched into a long speech which seemed pretty aimed at the media, not that there were MANY in attendence. There was, as I said, monsewer Brennan, and there was Monsewer Sallinger from den chan 4,...and I believe it was the guy from the daily Camera who couldn't resist remarking, "GET A HAIRCUT TOM," to someone sitting next to him, referring to Monsewer Koby's over the collar and VERY Grey hair.
The Judge yammered on about how this is NOT the JON BENET RAMSEY murder trial....and then tried to forcefeed something quotable about how, "we can all hope that at some point in time someone might be indicted or prosecuted in the murder of that innocent child."
Les judge pointed out that both sides in THIS case "labored many months to be prepared for THIS day, " underscoring that the issues to be decided in this trial are IMPORTANT to them.
He warned all the potential jurors to "have thier remotes handy," at home and turn off any news they may see about this trial. etc etc.
AS far as I could tell there were only 5 other people BESIDES reporters there. So, with me, there were 6 spectators, and there were about 7 reporters,...but then, someone I thought was spectating sppeared to start sketching so, these numbers could be a lil false.
Ardnt wore a white blazer,..the two Jefes wore dark suits.
The judge made a remark about how we should all write to congress and tell them denver needs more district judges. This, to explain his pressence there, and to provide a soundbyte, and to attmept a piece of humour ALL in one statement.
Then, the clerk picked 14 people from a random drawing to go sit in the actual jury box. The judge had them explain a lil about themselves. The very first one, Daniel P. Bush said he was a fully certified police officer from weld county, but that he was a corrections officer currently. It'll be innarestin to see if he stays ON, or to know which side would want to bumphim off.
At about the sixth juror things suddenly CHANGED abruptly, because this woman, told the judge he ought to know that she is acquainted with 2 people involved. She worked for an attorney that used to be a partner of one of the atty involved, for one thing, and for the other thing, she said she'd seen arndt on GMA. (Acquainted?). This caused the judge to pool the WHOLE group of 32 about the r case, and it's noteriety. ALL HANDS went up when he asked them if they'd ever heard anyone express an opinion on the case. About HALF the hands went up when he asked if THEY'D ever expressed an opinion on the case.
THEN, he asked if ANY of them felt that they had an ATTITUDE about the handling of the Ramsey case that might preclude them from serving on this jury. SEVEN hands went up, and THAT caused the judge to call a recess, during which time, he and council would examine each one of those 7 people in CHAMBERS.
I left at that point, and so did several reporters. It was obvious this would take up the time all the way to the 12:30 lunch break, so who knew when anything would happen again. The judge did earlier mention that the trial itself could begin as early as late this afternoon if they get the jury empanelled. He did estimate that it would go on till early next week.
One minor note of innarest is: the judge told the other jurors not being taken to chambers that they could walk around, but they must stay on the floor. I hung out in front of the bldging for awhile to see if I could get a foto of anyone, but the 'stars' failed to appear. HOWEVER, all 3 black jurors appeared and started smoking.
A bailiff came and admonished them, reminding them of the judges words about not leaving the floor.
You can take the black thing as you like, ...it's NOT important,...just a tidbit, and it CANT be mentioned in the papers for PC reasons. I wouldn't be surprized if the judge admonished them when things got going again after I left.
That's about it, except for this slight JOKE of the day:
One reporter leans over to another reporter and mumbles something in reference to beckner's presence, (and others) about "BOULDER BEING WITHOUT LEADERSHIP FOR A WEEK.......that'll be a first."
One more tiny thing; the judge reminds one of semi-former tv star RICHARD MASUR if anyone recalls him, he was the recurring boyfriend of sacchrine whats-her-name on ONE Day At Eine Time.