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Chapman jury selection starts Monday
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Jury selection starts Monday for the trial of Jeffrey Wade Chapman, who is charged with the first-degree murder of 25-year-old Damon Galyardt. District Judge Ron Svaty said 220 potential jurors have been summoned.
Galyardt’s body was discovered by hunters on land southwest of Great Bend on Nov. 12, 2011. Chapman, 33, has entered a plea of not guilty to first-degree murder.
Chapman appeared in court briefly on Friday as Judge Svaty heard pretrial motions from defense attorney Kurt Kerns, and from the state, represented by Assistant Attorney General Steven Karrer and Assistant Barton County Attorney Amy Mellor.
Karrer said he intends to use a PowerPoint demonstration to show phone records and maps. Two new witnesses were approved by Svaty; they are the current evidence custodians for the Barton County Sheriff’s Office and Great Bend Police Department.
Kerns addressed the issue of a pretrial questionnaire that was created to weed out unsuitable potential jurors. That includes anyone whose opinion may have been tainted by pre-trial publicity. The questionnaire will be given to potential jurors when they arrive on Monday or Tuesday.
Svaty said a panel of 70 prospective jurors has been summoned for Monday morning, with 50 more arriving Monday afternoon, 50 on Tuesday morning and 50 on Tuesday afternoon if needed.
“Hopefully we’ll have a jury before Wednesday,” he said.
The judge has also made it known that no cameras will be allowed in the courtroom during the trial.