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Collins Jury Selection Drones On

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Collins Jury Selection Drones On

By William B. Treml

(News Police Reporter)

The jury-selecting process
droned on this morning with
Lwo more persons excused for
cause, in the John Norman Col-
Ims murder case.

A woman who said she had
planned a trip to Ireland in
July was excused by Judge
John W. Conlin.

A long-time Ford Motor Co.
employe from Ypsilanti was
excused because of family obli-
' ations and an opinion that he

. uld believe a police officer's
testimony over that of another
person. "I'd just as soon not be
on this case at all. But I'm will-
ing to help you out to straight-
en out this mess, judge," the
"nan told Judge Conlin.

At the end of a frustrating
Monday in which 13 jurors
were excused, Chief Defense
Counsel Joseph Louisell probably
summed up the feelings of
all the principals when he
remarked to Judge Conlin:

"Judge, this has not been one
of my 1 " lays."

Prose William Delhey
had reason to feel the same.
Several times through the long
day Delhey seemed to win bat-
tles to seat a prospective juror
only to have the person rejected

the last minute because of
acquaintanceship with a wit-
Sf-ss or an assistant prosecutor.

The final person placed in the
•Jury box for examination typi-
fied the prosecutor's daylong
luck. The prospective juror
was an Ypsilanti resident, moth-
er of two children and a nurse
at University Hospital. She "•';-'
her parents had been nei

cf Assistant Prosecutor BuuRui
T. Williams at one time but
that factor was brushed aside
by Louisell as he probed the
woman's mind on her presump-
tion of Collins' innocence.

"I don't completely presume
h'm innocent," the nurse told
Louisell. "I find it difficult to
say I presume him innocent."

But even that remark and
another involving the woman's
husband voicing an opinion as
to Collins' guilt did not appear
enough to eliminate her from
'he panel. Then, as Judge Con-
lin was completing the ques-
tioning, the nurse said she
recognized the name "Karl
Fink," appearing on a list of
assistant prosecutors working
on Delhey's staff.

"My husband knows him,"
she said. "His father has done
legal business for my hus-

Judge Conlin immediately
excused the woman "for
cause"—the final person to be
rejected in that manner yestc

The judge continues to have
the prospective jurors sit alone
m the jury box when being
questioned, separated from
those persons already over the
"for cause" challenge hurdle.
He has said, since the jury-
di awing began two weeks ago,
that individual questioning will

Where Prospective Jurors Wait

Peering through a small window in a room on the sec-
ond floor of the County Building gives this view of the
chairs from which 12 persons may be chosen to decide the
fate of John Norman Collins. While prospective jurors are

being questioned individually in the courtroom, others sit
in this assembly room, talking, playing cards, waiting.
Two panels of prospective jurors have already occupied the
jury assembly room since June 2.

be less embarassing for pros-
pective jurors and they will be
less likely to be influenced by
the answers they hear from
other persons seated in the box
with them.

Those, who in the 'o
weeks have been ti . -y
seated, are kept locked in a
jury deliberation room and are
escorted back into the court-
room and the jury box only
when a full 14-person panel is
complete and it is time for a
peremptory challenge from
either the defense or the prose-

So successful has the
individual questioning been in
drawing apparently truthful
answers from •'•••• -irospective
jurors that observers

drawing is not done in this
manner. In most cases, 14 per-
sons seated in the jury box are
Questioned in an almost collec-
tive manner with each prospec-
tive juror hearing the answers
of others.

As it has been almost from
the start, Prosecutor Delhey's

examination of the prospective
jurors has been swift, almost
cursory, while the questioning
by Neil Fink and Louisell has
been probing, extensive, in-
volved. Delhey has spent as
little as a minute on some pro-
spective jurors while the defense
lawyers rarely take less than 15
minutes and sometimes are still
asking questions 45 minutes aft-
er they start.

Delhey again yesterday used
the stratagem of passing his
opportunity to use a perempto-
ry challenge, forcing Louisell to
use one of his 15 remaining
challenges. At the close of
yesterday's hearing Louisell
had 14 peremptory challenges
left while Prosecutor Delhey
had 11.

The defense used its only
• • 'nptory challenge of the

.••esterday on a Ford Motor
repeatedly to have rejected by
Judge Conlin on a "for cause"
basis. The defense attorneys
appeared to have good reason
f< r wanting the engineer off the
prospective panel.

At one point in the question-
ing, he told Louisell he shares

•Ae "hope of the community
that they've got the right

"Do you think the defendant's
presence here is some evidence
of his guilt?" Louisell asked the

"Yes, he would not be here
otherwise," the Ypsilanti man

He answered "perhaps,"
when Louisell asked him if it
would require some evidence
on the part of the defense to
remove his opinion as to Col-
lins' possible guilt. He also said
be does not reconcile his "feel-
ing" about Collins' guilt with
the law's presumption of inno-
cence for ?.' "nal defend-

With the engineer out of the
courtroom, Fink argued that
the -man's answers "clearly
make him unfit to sit as a

"We've been asked in o u r
change o f venue motions,
'Where can you get a fair trial
in a case like this?' " Fink told
the court. "My answer has
always been anywhere but in
the community which has been
victimized. I would not want to

be tried by 12 people who
"hoped" ;- .is^ht man had
been am

But Judge Conlin denied the
challenge "for cause" and
moments later when he called
the full 14-person jury m, Loui-
sei'l immediately rejected the
Ypsilanti engineer w i t h a
peremptory challenge.

A Manchester accountant
who said the facts do not show
Collins to be "100 per cent
guilty'' was removed "for
cause" when he later said he
felt the defendant was "im-
plicated" and he would require
evidence from the witness
stand to rid himself of this

The only person seated yes-
terday was an employe of the
Superior Engineering Co. of Ann
Arbor who said he "did not
respond*' to persons who
expressed a belief in Collins'
guilt. He said some he had
talked to "linked" Collin

the killings of other youn,-
women in this area. Despite a
statement that it would "seem
in his best interest" if Collins
"rebutted" prosecution evi-
dence against him, the engineer

was seated, over at least the
"for cause" hurdle.

Judge Conlin yesterday
excused "for cause" the field
director of the Michigan Kidney
Foundation who had been seat-
ed on June 8. He told thp i o'i i
his presence at the foui.n. . .
during July and August would
be required.

A woman who is a re' ••••••'•
assistant at the Universii .

who was seated on June 2, the
•first day of the hearings, was
"allowed to remain on the panel
"after Judge Conlin told her yes-
terday attempts would be made
to escort her to her laboratory
'to care for animals under her
control. She had said a pro-
longed absence from the
laboratory would burden her
husband with whom she works.

It was apparent throughout
yesterday that Judge Conlin
was determined to quiet the
fears of jury prospects who
rebelled at the idea of being
"locked up" for the duration of
the trial, probably four to six
weeks. Repeatedly he told the
prospective jurors that
arrangements would be made
to permit them to visit their
families under sheriff's deputy
and policewomen supervision
and have families visit them,
also under supervision. Work
too, could be done at the motel
rooms after the daily jury ses-
sion, the judge told the pro-
spective jurors.

The "visitation" announce-
'ments alarmed Sheriff Douglas
J. Harvey who said he pictured
his road patrol unit being
stripped of officers in order to
escort jurors to and from their
homes during the trial. Harvey
conferred with Judge Conlin on
the problem and it was agreed
that the sheriff could use auxili-
ary deputies (unpaid civilian
volunteers) for the escort duty.

Perhaps the most interesting
person rejected "for cause"
yesterday was an Ypsilanti
"woman whose husband is a
Superior Township fireman and
whose brother-in-law was on
the Ann Arbor Police Depart-
ment 15 years ago:

"As long as he (Collins)
hasn't admitted it or been
caught, there's a possibility he
didn't do it," she told Prosecu-
tor Delhey. She called the pros-
pect of the trial "unpleasant",
said she'd rather not sit on the
'jury and told of some persons
^vho commented to her about
the case saving of Collins
""Hang him!" "

She was finally excused "for
cause" when she said she
\vould give more weight to the
testimony of a police officer
than to that of another person.

One of the last persons ex-
cused "for cause" was an Ann
Arbor woman who has three
children and whose husband is
in Afghanistan. She said a pro-
'\c i-ial would make it
impo.- e for her to hire some-
'one to care for her children.