It took most of the day Tuesday to choose a jury for Darrin Hirsh, a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper charged with aggravated assault and other counts of domestic violence in Barton County District Court. The jury is scheduled to hear opening statements at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday when the trial resumes.
Hirsh is charged with threatening his spouse with a handgun on March 12, 2013, and with violating a protective order on March 11 and 12, 2014. Felony charges are aggravated assault and two counts of criminal threat; misdemeanor charges are domestic battery, two counts of witness intimidation and two counts of violating a protective order.
He remains free on bond.
Hirsh was terminated from the Kansas Highway Patrol in 2014 following his arrest. Last month he posted a message on social media, saying the Kansas Office of Administrative Hearings voted 5-0 that he was wrongfully terminated and ordered the KHP to restore him back to Master Trooper status.
The Great Bend Tribune attempted to verify this statement on Nov. 9 and received this information from the KHP office in Topeka: Employees may appeal to a civil sentencing board; there was a hearing and the board modified his termination to a six-month suspension.
Hirsh is represented by Sal Intagliata, Wichita, and the prosecution is being handled by Assistants Attorney General Jessica Domme and Lyndzie Carter.
It was 4:25 p.m. Monday when attorneys settled on 14 jurors, including two alternates, and District Judge Ron Svaty called the names of the 11 men and three women. To dozens of other prospective jurors who had spent the day at the courthouse, he offered his thanks and assured them their service had been part of the process of a fair trial.
“You served as an American citizen,” he said.
“I encourage you to come back tomorrow,” Svaty told those he released from service. He said he is often disappointed that he doesn’t see more people attending courtroom proceedings.
“Every governmental function should be transparent,” he said. “We should all be watched."