UPDATED: Jurors chosen for murder trial that is expected to last weeks

Jury selection for the Kaelin Glazier murder trial is under way at Jackson County Circuit Court today.

Updated 3:40 p.m. Six men and six women were chosen to serve. The jurors, along with three alternates who will also attend the entire trial, were selected shortly after 2:30 p.m. today. Opening statements started at 3 p.m.

Sixty potential jurors will be screened this morning in Judge Benjamin Bloom's courtroom. If a jury isn't chosen from this group, a second group of 60 people is scheduled to go through the screening process this afternoon, court officials said.

The judge explained to potential jurors that defendant William Frank Simmons, 31, doesn't face the death penalty.

Simmons has long been the primary suspect in the death of the 15-year-old Ruch teen more than 15 years ago. Simmons faces a single murder charge.

Attorneys have presented a list of more than 50 witnesses who could be called during the trial. The defense and prosecution teams have questioned potential jurors about whether they know the people on the witness list, and about their understanding of reasonable doubt, presumption of innocence and other legal concepts.

Defense attorney Michael Bertholf said the trial would last weeks and possibly a month. He ranked jurors' service to the community just below military service.

A 12-person jury, along with three alternatives, will be selected.

— Sanne Specht

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