Snider retrial set after two weeks of jury selection

It took two weeks and three pools of prospective jurors, but a jury has been selected in the retrial of a man accused of killing his father in Rangely.

Jim Bradford, clerk of court in Garfield County for the 9th Judicial District, said a panel of 12 jurors and three alternates was seated Tuesday afternoon in Glenwood Springs, and opening arguments were made in the trial of Jerry Snider Jr. He is charged with first-degree murder in the hatchet slaying of his father, Jerry Snider Sr., at the elder Snider’s Rangely home in 2009.

Snider Jr. has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. A Meeker jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict in the case earlier this year, resulting in a mistrial. A judge then granted a defense motion to move the retrial out of Rio Blanco County to make it easier to seat jurors unfamiliar with the case.

Still, Bradford said the length of the trial made picking a jury difficult. The trial is scheduled to last until June 10.

“That’s a huge commitment” of time for prospective jurors, particularly at a time of year when people are busy with graduations, vacations and kids who are out of school, he said.

Jury selection began May 4. Bradford’s office initially sent 350 jury notices, and the selection process focused on 110 of them. When that pool of 110 proved inadequate, Bradford provided 127 people initially called for another trial that was canceled.

He said the second pool almost proved sufficient to finalize jury selection, but he supplied 47 more names from another canceled trial before the process was completed.


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