Surprised Shoppers Get Jury Summonses

(AP) A judge who ran out of prospective jurors in a child rape trial sent sheriff's deputies to a Wal-Mart, a supermarket and a mall to issue jury summonses to surprised shoppers.

Three deputies questioned mall walkers and shoppers whether they were Allen County residents and registered voters, and then issued summonses on the spot if answers to both questions were 'yes,' sheriff's Sgt. Brian Winegardner said.

Deputies handed orders to appear to 12 potential jurors on Monday and eight on Tuesday, he said.

"In 20 years on the bench this is only the second time this has occurred," Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Warren said.

Summonses were also given to visitors to the Allen County Courthouse, where the trial is scheduled, including one man who was there finalizing a divorce and another who was visiting the county auditor's office.

Six people served at the courthouse on Monday were dismissed from the jury pool when defense attorney Kenneth Rexford objected.

Eight women and four men were seated Tuesday, and opening arguments took place Wednesday in the trial of Terry Hupp, 51, of Spencerville.

He's charged with six counts of gross sexual imposition and seven counts of rape. Three of the rape counts carry a possible life sentence.

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Information from: The Lima News, http://www.limanews.com

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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