FULTON COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - Jury selection is underway Monday as the trial of The People vs. James Worley officially begins.
The task of picking a fair and impartial jury could prove to be a difficult one as the death of Sierah Joughin was so public.
Security is tight in Fulton County as jurors are unable to bring cellphones, drinks or food inside the courtroom. Everyone entering the courthouse must go through a metal detector, and everyone's bag is searched.There is only one entrance that will be open into the courthouse for the next month as the trial plays out.
The clerk's office said this is the first death penalty and high-profile case the county has seen since the 1980's.
James Worley was wearing a dress shirt and pants as he talked with his attorneys before court began, possibly strategizing on the jury selection process.
All 120 jurors summoned to the courtroom were questioned by the judge and attorneys. The jurors were first asked if they knew any of the attorneys, the defendant or the victim.
Then they were asked if they could be unbiased in the case or if they had formed an opinion on Worley's guilt or innocence. Several jurors spoke up after this question, which upset Judge Jeffery Robinson.
Robinson claimed the news they watch on TV or hear on the radio about this case is sensationalized in order to gain ratings.
"Look, I'm going to ask some specific questions. I'm going to try to find an unbiased jury here. So if you would just refrain from making any additional commentary and base your answers on what I ask, I would very much appreciate it," Judge Robinson said.
By Monday afternoon, the questioning continued and the focus was to seat jurors who will not be burdened by a trial expected to last several weeks.
"I would like to know if that time frame is going to be causing some sort of personal or financial burden for you," Judge Robin asked. "Could you raise your hand?"
Jurors were excused Monday for a variety of reasons, from health to not being able to get child care.
Another 120 jurors will be questioned on Tuesday.