Jury Selected for Okemos Teen's Murder Trial

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

The jury that will decide whether or not an Okemos teen murdered his sister's boyfriend has been selected.

This was day one of Connor McCowan's trial. He came face-to-face for the first time with the people who will decide his fate. McCowan was in Ingham County Circuit Court to watch and listen, as attorneys questioned his potential jurors all day.

"Jury duty is one of the most serious duties that members of our free society are asked to perform," Judge Clinton Canady III told the jury pool.

McCowan is charged with stabbing his sister's boyfriend, Andrew Singler, to death in February. Friends and family from both sides were present as the jury selection got underway.

"Jurors must be as free as humanly possible from bias, prejudice or sympathy for either side," Judge Canady said.

That proved to be a little difficult. Many people had ties to the Okemos School District where McCowan attended, or to witnesses that will testify. Attorneys weeded through the potential bias with dozens of questions. The prosecution mostly focused on making sure jurors understand the burden of proof

"There may be questions that are unanswered, but if I prove the elements to you beyond a reasonable doubt, give you those pieces, can you convict?" the prosecuting attorney asked jurors.

McCowan's attorneys asked questions about social media use and self-defense -- issues that will arise in their side of the arguments.

"Do you believe that you can use whatever means you need to use, based on what you think is going on at the time to protect yourself?" McCowan's attorney asked.

After about five hours of that questioning, the final jury was sworn in

The judge said the trial could last up to two and a half weeks, but that's the worst case scenario.

Day two of the trial begins at 8:30 Tuesday morning.


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