Juror excused from murder trial
MANCHESTER, N.H. - A judge has granted a distressed elderly male juror's request to be excused from the Michael Addison capital murder trial, because he said friends instantly recognized him from broadcast media descriptions.
The man told Hillsborough Superior Court Judge Kathleen McGuire that after he got home Wednesday after becoming the third juror selected in the case, a friend called to say he recognized him from the description broadcast on WMUR-TV.
While the television station did not give his name, the juror said his friend was able to identify him when it described where he lives, his age and what he does for work. Given his age, 77, the juror said he doubts he would be able to undergo the "mental and physical" strain of sitting on a death penalty case knowing he no longer is an anonymous juror.
McGuire issued an amended order barring media from describing jurors in such detail that they can be identified.
She limited jurors' descriptions to gender, approximate age, and general occupation.
Meanwhile, a new male juror was selected Friday to sit on the trial of Addison, who is charged with shooting Manchester police Officer Michael L. Briggs to death in October 2006. Addison has pleaded not guilty.
Total number of jurors selected so far remains at five - three women and two men. Jury selection began Monday and will continue until 12 jurors and six alternates are seated. McGuire said she anticipates opening statements in the estimated eight-week trial to begin Oct. 14.