FULTON COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - Wednesday marks day three in the first week of the trial of James Worley.
Worley is facing 17 charges in the death and disappearance of 20-year-old Sierah Joughin. One of those charges is aggravated murder, which was a big talking point in the courtroom Wednesday.
The death penalty was also a topic of discussion.
The individual voir dire process continued, meaning each juror is brought into the courtroom and questioned one-by-one. The jurors are asked about their views on the death penalty, as well as the publicity this case has received on TV.
"As a Christian it's not your place to decide whether of not a person should die, correct, if the evidence is substantial would you be able to following the law and the oath," the prosecuting attorney asked.
Attorneys and the judge need to make absolutely sure that anyone chosen for the jury understands they can not use reports they have heard on TV or read in the paper to form an opinion on whether Worely is guilty or not guilty.
The jurors were questioned to ensure they will listen to witnesses and look at evidence and form an opinion that way, not through past information they heard.
Those involved in the case also need to make sure they understand the juror's view on the death penalty and make sure that person would be able to find the defendant guilty of aggravated murder if the evidence leads them to that conclusion. A guilty verdict on the charge of aggravated murder could send Worley to death row.
"If you were the last person to sign the verdict form and you knew if you voted that the aggravated circumstances outweighed the mitigating factors, and you knew the defendant would be put to death, would you be able to sign your name? Could you do it if you were the last deciding juror?" the attorney for the state asked one of the jurors.
The juror in this case answered yes, that she could sentence Worley to death.
The jury pool was at one point over 300, now that number is down to around 100.
The other jurors have been dismissed, and of those remaining, 12 will be given the responsibility to determine Worley's fate, are close to being chosen.
The judge says they are still on schedule to complete the jury selection process and pick a jury by Friday, so the first witness can be called to the stand by Monday.