Jurors to be selected Monday for capital murder trial
by Rachael Brown
rbrown@annistonstar.com
Sep 06, 2013 | 9768 views |  0 comments | 84 84 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In these file photos, at right, police search Anniston in 2011 for a suspect in the shooting death of officer Justin Sollohub, (top left). Joshua Eugene Russell (bottom left) was convicted of capital murder in Sollohub's death. (Photo at right by Trent Penny)
In these file photos, at right, police search Anniston in 2011 for a suspect in the shooting death of officer Justin Sollohub, (top left). Joshua Eugene Russell (bottom left) was convicted of capital murder in Sollohub's death. (Photo at right by Trent Penny)
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Attorneys are reviewing questionnaires turned in by potential jurors from Lee County in preparation for next week’s capital murder trial of Joshua Russell, the man charged with killing Anniston police officer Justin Sollohub in 2011.

Jury selection is slated to start Monday morning at the Lee County Courthouse, according to Calhoun County Circuit Judge Brian Howell.

Prosecutors say Russell, 26, shot Sollohub in the head during a foot chase in August 2011. Sollohub, 27, died a short time later in a Birmingham hospital.

Officers moved Russell from the Etowah County Jail to a facility in Lee County this morning, Howell said.

In February, Howell granted a motion to change the trial’s venue to Lee County because attorneys did not think they could find unbiased jurors without previous knowledge of the case.

Howell said the Lee County Courthouse sent out questionnaires to more than 100 potential jurors, and attorneys were reviewing them this weekend.

“I have every intent to get a jury on Monday, even if it takes until midnight,” Howell said.

The judge said he expects opening arguments to begin Tuesday morning and for the Calhoun County District Attorney’s Office to present witnesses.

Howell said prosecutors subpoenaed around 100 witnesses, but plan for around 50 to testify.

Potential jurors answered questions about their news preferences, which organizations they’re involved in, whether they have addiction issues and how they feel about the death penalty. Howell said there must be 36 potential jurors for attorneys to “strike from,” meaning attorneys will cross off jurors’ names until those that are left make up the jury. The judge said 14 jurors are needed to try a capital murder case; two of those jurors are considered alternates and won’t decide Russell’s fate.

Jury selection is scheduled to start Monday at 10 a.m.

Staff Writer Rachael Brown: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @RBrown_Star.

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