Jury selection rounds out day four of Devin Weiland trial

[anvplayer video=”5134096″ station=”998128″]

(ABC 6 News) – Day four of the jury trial is wrapping up for 22-year-old Devin Weiland.

Weiland is facing several charges of attempted first-degree murder and assault with a dangerous weapon.

His charges stem from a 2020 stand-off where Weiland allegedly barricaded himself in an Albert Lea apartment complex and fired at police and bystanders from above, injuring three people. One of the three injured was an Albert Lea police officer.

Jury selection bled into day four, where all parties in the courtroom expressed some frustration over how difficult it has been to find fair jurors.

The trial will likely take multiple weeks, multiple potential jurors stated they would not be able to focus on the trial because of their concern about taking time off work.

Weiland’s lead defense attorney, Grant Sanders, stated that increased media exposure means potential jurors already know details about what happened.

And, multiple potential jurors stated that they either knew witnesses, or were directly impacted by the crime that day, or they had family members impacted.

ABC 6 News spoke with another attorney from the area and asked if it is usually this difficult to seat a jury in high-profile cases. He said it is unusual that jury selection has taken this long.

“Most times when there’s a high profile case the judges will start with a larger selection of potential jurors,” said Christopher Kennedy, of Kennedy & Kennedy Law Office. “And it’s rare in Minnesota that cases will be taken from one county and tried someplace else,”

He said in some cases, attorneys will file a motion for a change of venue. This moves the case to be tried in a different county, to reach more unbiased jurors. Neither the prosecution nor the defense filed such a motion in this case.

80 people were originally called to be potential jurors in this case. 57 people in that group actually answered their summons. By midday Friday, the attorneys had blown through that group. The court had to call in 15 new potential jurors to choose from.

One of the attorneys said they aim to seat 12 jurors and three alternates.

Weiland’s defense team asked potential jurors about their feelings towards law enforcement. Sanders asked the panel what they thought of the phrase “blue lives matter.” Sanders also inquired about jurors’ history with substance abuse, and physical ticks or involuntary muscle movements.

The court will move on to opening arguments next week.