Court orders Cannon jury selection to restart

Grover Cannon Trial update 04/18/2019

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - After almost four weeks of work by prosecution and defense attorneys, the Louisiana Supreme Court has put a stop to jury selection in the Grover Cannon murder trial, telling trial court officials to start the process all over from the beginning.

In October 2015, a Caddo Parish grand jury indicted Cannon for allegedly killing Shreveport Police Officer Thomas LaValley who was responding to a suspicious person call in Shreveport.

Earlier this year, jury selection in the death penalty case was moved to East Baton Rouge, to protect Cannon’s constitutional right to a fair trial by an unbiased jury.

But his defense team raised questions about the process in which the jury poor was selected, when it was learned no one under the age of 26 was called to possibly serve as a juror due to a computer request.

Cannon’s lawyers argued before the trial court and Louisiana’s 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal that the jury pool should be thrown out, and a new pool selected, because excluding an entire age group of people violated state law and his constitutional rights.

While both lower courts disagreed, the Louisiana Supreme Court sided with Cannon late this morning in a short one-page opinion, tossing out the jury pool, which had been narrowed to less than 70 persons, and sending the case back to the trial court to start all over.

According to the Supreme Court, because “qualified” persons, born after June 2, 1993 “were excluded” from possibly serving on the jury, the pool was “improperly constituted under the Code of Criminal Procedure” and it violated the equal protection clause of the Louisiana Constitution.

There is no word at the moment on where the new jury might be selected, or how soon that process might begin.

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