By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
The jury selection for the Jason Ray Dominguez trial was completed Thursday. Twelve jurors and two alternates have been chosen. The trial began Friday.
Out of the 68 jurors called for duty, 56 appeared and 24 were interviewed.
The jurors include a doctor, a veterinarian student, an elementary school teacher, two education paraprofessionals, a customer service representative, a railroad rail tester, several receptionists, road construction personnel, an employee in retail sales, a homemaker and a secretary.
The selection process began with Judge Douglas Anderson talking to potential jury members. He repeated the rules of law, which said the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty, the state must prove guilt, each element of the charges must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt and the defendant does not have to prove his innocence.
The judge then asked jurors if:
- Any pressing business or family issues would prevent them from serving;
- They knew any person on the witness list, in the jury pool, the lawyers, the victim, Dustin Brown, or the defendant, Dominguez;
- They heard about the murder beforehand;
- They had any dealings with Morrison County attorneys or courts;
- They could set aside prejudices, biases or sympathies while serving;
- They could give equal weight to testimonies from both lay and police witnesses; and
- Graphic photos would be a problem to view.
With each potential juror, Dominguez waived his right to question him or her. He had also waived his right to an attorney and sat alone at the defense table with his stand-in attorney, Scott Wonderlich of Wonderlich Law in Little Falls, sitting behind him.
Morrison County Attorney Todd Kosovich and Assistant Attorney General William Klumpp were next to ask questions of the jurors, which included:
- Will you be able to take witness testimony from a prior drug user as fact?
- Do you think a person who has been in prison has the same rights to not be murdered as any other person?
- Can you overcome the presumption of innocence if the evidence is compelling?
- Do you believe it’s OK to make a deal with one person to convict another more culpable?
- Is there anything more valuable than human life?
- When was the last time you lost someone you cared about? Was it from a violent cause?
- How do you decide if someone is telling the truth? and
- How high is your level of common sense and are you comfortable in making major decisions?
Dominguez faces a first degree murder charge for the Oct. 3, 2011, shooting death of Dustin J. Brown in Little Falls.
Anderson expects the trial to last no more than nine days.