Jury seated in John Jonchuck murder case, opening statements expected to start Monday

Pinellas County
Jury_selection_underway_in_John_Jonchuck_1_20190318223245

A jury of 12 has been seated in the John Jonchuck case.

After five days, a jury was picked just after 6 p.m. Friday night.

The day started with 67 potential jurors on the short list.

Prospective jurors were questioned by attorneys inside the court room as a group.

Attorneys asked several questions about people who have family in law enforcement and if anyone had a psychology background or studied it in school.

Judge Chris Helinger talked about Jonchuck’s medication and how it could impact him in court.

“You should no allow the defendant’s present condition in court or any apparent side affect from the medication that you may have observed in court to affect your deliberations. If you’re chosen as a juror, you must intellectually be able to presume that Mr. Jonchuck is innocent, that way you’re open minded throughout the trial. You don’t make up your mind after the first or the second witness.”

Jonchuck is accused of throwing his daughter, Phoebe, over the Dick Misener bridge in 2015.

If found guilty, he’ll spend the rest of his days in prison. If found innocent, he’ll stay in a mental institution.

Judge Helinger warned jurors about the publicity of the trial and to avoid television, social media and the paper.

“You can’t look at any of that stuff. You can’t get online and look at any of it I mean it’s gonna be on the TV may when you do you’re weekend stuff, you know the health club, the gas station, you can’t watch it. You either have to leave or ask the management to please turn on something else,” she said.

“You can’t go home and listen to the opinions of the people in your house about the case.”

Opening statements expected to start Monday.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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