Henderson trial: No jury selection on Friday; process resumes on Monday

Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 8:40 AM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - On Friday, attorneys were set to proceed with narrowing down a big jury pool in the Christopher Henderson case. Late Thursday night, WAFF 48 found out those plans changed.

According to Presiding Circuit Judge Ruth Ann Hall, judges got word late in the day on Thursday that courts are to be closed on Friday for the new Juneteenth state holiday. These orders came from the Governor and the Chief Justice.

“Courts are closed tomorrow, however, the Henderson case will meet in the morning as scheduled as a result of the lack of notice as to the closure,” Judge Hall said.

She elaborated that in the state’s capital cases Alabama law requires that a defendant be present for all matters. All decisions for this case, Judge Hall said, need to be on the record with a chance for attorneys to be heard.

After convening court, the judge and attorneys agreed to release the jury pool for the day. The defense team said they would like to observe the holiday. The plan to recall this day’s jury pool is to be determined at this time.

Prior to the attorneys questioning the potential jurors on Thursday, WAFF 48 caught up with attorneys from both sides of the case.

“Obviously under the constitution, everybody is entitled to a jury trial,” Henderson’s defense attorney Bruce Gardner said. “The presumption of innocence. The right to demand that the state or the government prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

“This is one of those cases where this is serious enough where we are seeking the death penalty,” said Chief Trial Attorney for the district attorney’s office Tim Gann. “We don’t seek the death penalty in all capital murders.”

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