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4/26/2013 10:33:00 AM Email this articlePrint this article 
Jury selection complete; McQueen trial begins Monday with opening statements
LAWRENCEVILLE - With jury selection complete, the trial for 21-year-old Tyler R. McQueen is set to begin at 9 a.m. Monday in Lawrence County Circuit Court.

McQueen is charged with three counts of first degree murder in the March 2012 slaying of 78-year-old Robert V. Westall. Westall's body was found March 25 in a villa at United Methodist Village in Lawrenceville.

McQueen, then 20 years old, was arrested less than a week after Westall's body was found.

Jury selection was a tedious process with prospective jurors being interviewed one-at-a-time. After interviewing 14 potential jurors in a group on Monday morning, Judge Robert Hopkins, who will preside over the trial, decided to continue the jury selection process with only one prospect in the room at a time.

After an explanation of the process and several questions from Hopkins, each prospective juror was then interviewed by the prosecuting attorneys and defense attorney.

Lawrence County State's Attorney Chris Quick and special prosecutor Michael Vujovich are prosecuting the case with court-appointed Fairfield attorney Matthew Vaughn representing McQueen.

Jury selection took almost four days with four jurors selected Monday, four more Tuesday, four jurors and one alternate picked Wednesday, and three alternates selected Thursday.

The jury will consist of 10 women and two men while the four alternates are made up of three women and one man.

During the four days, about 65 potential jurors were interviewed. Many were excused during the interview process for various reasons while several others were eliminated during "strike sessions" when each attorney has veto options.

Helen Marie Westall, Robert Westall's niece, has also been arrested in connection with the death. Like McQueen, Westall was arrested more than a year ago and less than a week after Robert V. Westall's body was found. She was 47 years old at the time.

Helen Marie Westall's trial has been set for May 13. She is represented by Lawrence County Public Defender Brad Vaughn.

Both McQueen and Westall have appeared numerous times in Lawrence County Circuit Court for pre-trial hearings.


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