Furse said it was the first time he had experienced an exhausted jury pool. The court summoned 250 jurors from Dolores County, and 142 responded, Furse said. But after three days of jury selection, the court could not find enough jurors to continue, he said.
In the case, William Blackburn, 45, of Dove Creek, is charged with second-degree murder as an act of domestic violence resulting in the death of Cindy Johnson, 61, on Jan. 7, 2015.
The trial was rescheduled for May 16, but there may be timing conflicts with certain witnesses in the case, Furse said.
Attorneys for the defense have renewed a request for a change of venue for the case, Furse said. The two parties are set to litigate that issue in a hearing March 24 at 2:30 p.m. in Dolores Combined Court before District Court Judge Todd Plewe, Furse said. That hearing will be open to the public.
The court couldn’t find enough suitable jurors because of close relationships between people in Dove Creek and witnesses who might be called to testify in the trial, Furse said. About 700 people live in Dove Creek.
Furse said he asked that the court be allowed to find more jurors under a statute that allowed a judge to seek no more than 24 additional jurors. Plewe denied that request and declared a mistrial, Furse said.