SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

September 19, 2013

Jury selection underway in Beverly slaying

(Continued)

Buso then told the judge that Christensen had been tapering off of just one medication, a sleep aid, so that he would be more alert in the morning.

Buxton said she was worried that forcing Christensen to go to trial now, without knowing for certain the potential effects of withdrawing from the medication or his PTSD, might increase the likelihood of an appeal for a new trial.

But Whitehead concluded that it appeared Christensen understood the proceedings, and he chose to begin jury selection.

In another issue the lawyers had hoped to resolve before trial, Whitehead indicated a second time that he, as of now, does not see how he will be able to give jurors the option of considering self-defense, given the evidence that’s been made known to him.

While the judge said he would not preclude Buso from mentioning self-defense in his opening statement, “I have doubts, though, in the end, whether that case is going to be made,” Whitehead said.

Prior to the start of jury selection, Buso renewed a request to quiz jurors on their prior knowledge of the case, citing in particular stories that appeared last week and yesterday in The Salem News.

The case had also received extensive coverage from Boston-area media in 2011, and last year, Boston Magazine published a story on Christensen’s difficult upbringing.

But just four members of the pool of more than 40 potential jurors recalled hearing anything about the case.

Ten jurors were chosen for the trial yesterday; six more will have to be selected before the trial gets underway with opening statements.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
Comments Tracker