Some 400 Montezuma County residents were summoned for jury duty last week. More than 100 were questioned privately in the judge’s chamber.
Court officials explained that jurors who indicated they were impacted by child sex assault in the past were independently questioned behind closed doors so as to neither embarrass the individual juror or taint the opinions of other perspective jurors. In the end, 14 jurors were selected to hear evidence in the trial of a convicted sex offender, including six females and eight males. Two jurors will serve as alternates; meaning only 12 will ultimately determine the verdict.
Andrew Allmon, 55, of Cortez, could receive a lifetime sentence if convicted of multiple child sex allegations. He also faces drug charges.
The trial resumed with opening statements on Monday, Jan. 12. Jury deliberations are likely to start by week’s end.
Defense attorneys announced on Friday that they hadn’t received all materials from prosecutors. Defender Kenneth Pace said 13 pages were missing from one report.
“We still don’t have all of the discovery,” Pace told Chief District Court Judge Doug Walker.
Despite a request from his office to LaPlata County authorities, District Attorney Will Furse explained he had yet to obtain the documents.
“We have handed over what we’ve received,” he said.
At trial, the alleged victim, who was 8 years old when charges were filed in 2013, is expected to testify. It remains unknown if Allmon will take the stand in his defense.
A Montezuma County grand jury indicted Allmon on nine counts of child sexual assault and four drug offenses. The defendant allegedly committed the sexual assault offenses within six weeks of inviting a homeless family to move into his home. A 2008 convicted sex offender, Allmon allegedly abused the youngest of three daughters after allegedly drugging the father of the minor child with Oxycontin.
Last week, many jurors were excused from civic duty after saying they had been directly or indirectly impacted by child sexual assault. A couple of jurors were also dismissed after revealing they financially supported child advocacy efforts.
For live courtroom updates, follow @tcbCortez on Twitter.