Jury selection underway in Mason Sisk trial

WAFF's Megan Plotka reporting
Published: Apr. 16, 2023 at 11:17 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 17, 2023 at 11:28 AM CDT
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ATHENS, Ala. (WAFF) - Jury selection for the trial of an Elkmont teen accused of killing his family started Monday and one juror was given five days in prison for contempt of court.

Mason Sisk is headed back to trial for the second time, several months after the presiding judge declared a mistrial.

During jury selection Monday, attorneys went through multiple rounds of questioning to help narrow the field. Questions covered topics including knowledge of the case, the family, the attorneys and if potential jurors could handle seeing gruesome images.

The judge called things off last fall when the FBI unlocked two of the victim’s cellphones in the middle of Sisk’s trial.

“I think it was necessary because you had some phone records come up during the trial or during the defense case that could lead to exculpatory evidence, that’s evidence that could be favorable to their client. It may, it may not, they don’t know it,” said local attorney Mike McDaniel.

Sisk is accused of killing both of his parents and three of his younger siblings back in 2019.

After last year’s trial, attorney Mark McDaniel thinks the defense has a huge advantage going into this week.

“They know exactly what the state’s case is going to be. It’s unusual for a defense lawyer to know exactly what the state’s case is going to be, what they do in this case because again the mistrial was granted after the state had put its entire case on,” he said.

McDaniel says the defense will have a transcript of every word in the previous trial and they’ll use that to their advantage any way they can.

The trial is set to begin on April 17

But what does the prosecution do?

“You present the same case you presented because it was a strong case,” McDaniel started. “But you would want your witnesses to say the same thing they said in the first trial because I guarantee the defense lawyers will be going through those transcripts with a fine-tooth comb. So if they can get a state’s witness to say something different than they did in the first trial, then they’re going to point that out to the jury.”

McDaniel says any slight different in what’s said between the first and second trial could make a difference to the jury.

WAFF will be covering the trial through its entirety.

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