When Brown was led into the foyer to go to the restroom, the foyer became quiet as he was escorted by an armed guard. That set the mood for the rest of the day as the seriousness of the event was made clear, if it had not been made before.
It took 8 1/2 hours, but 12 jurors and one alternate were selected from a pool of Jackson County residents for Brown's trial. The jury will consist of 11 men and 1 female.
Brown, 20, is charged with the murder of 35-year-old Steven Scott Wert on April 22, 2004. With a $1 million bond, Brown has been in jail since he turned himself into the police five days after the murder.
The jury selection took up the entire first day . The proceedings resumed today at 9 a.m.
According to an affidavit filed last year by then Undersheriff Steve R. Wilson, Brown, Wert and an unidentified man went to an old building at 2400 E. Broadway, where Wert used a key to gain entry. The stated purpose of the meeting was to sell an old shotgun.
The unidentified man cut his finger while assembling the gun, after Brown said he "couldn't buy the gun because it now had blood on it, but they needed to get rid of it," according to the affidavit.
After driving to the end of the pavement on South Park Lane, Wert and Brown fought about the gun, at which point Wert began running northbound toward Altus. That is when the report states Brown pulled out a small automatic dark-colored pistol and fired at Wert. Brown then allegedly got out of the truck and shot at Wert twice, before returning to the truck and leaving the scene.
Wert's body was found by a passing motorist at about 9:30 that night. The unidentified man in the affidavit has been identified as Monty Walker.
Brown's family contends that the affidavit Wilson submitted is not accurate.
But that will be one of the many things the jury will have to decipher during the trial, which is scheduled to last four days.
Before the final jury was selected, the lawyers in the case had several questions for the prospective jurors. Assistant District Attorney Jan Warren asked a jurist about her in-laws being victims of a violent crime. She also asked if any of them have kids between the ages of 17 to 22 that hunted.
However, the main point she seemed to try to hammer in is that they cannot be daunted by the defendant's young age.
"Look at this young man," Warren said to the jurors. "Is there anything that causes pause about this case. Despite his age, ... could you find him guilty?"
Brown's attorney, Ken Sue Doerfel, asked if someone can be falsely accused and charge with a crime.
Doerfel also wanted to know if the predominantly white jury had any prejudices about the young black defendant. There were no African-Americans among the final 12 jurors selected. The single alternate is black.
During instructions District Judge Richard Darby told the jurors that if Brown is found guilty they have only two options. He will get life in prison or life in prison without parole.
One of the jurists, who was later excused, said she was having a difficult time with the weight of the case.
"I wasn't expecting a case this serious," she said.
Reach Michael Kinney at email@example.com