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Jamaican radio spots seek Reid information

September 30, 1998

Albert ReidBy DON AINES / Staff Writer, Chambersburg




CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A radio station in Jamaica is running announcements seeking people who have information about Albert Reid's past that could save him from the death penalty if he is convicted of murdering his estranged wife and daughter.

If the jury convicts Reid of first-degree murder, it will decide during the penalty phase whether he is sentenced to death or to life in prison.

Reid, 49, is charged with two counts of criminal homicide and one count of burglary in the Dec. 27, 1996, shootings of his estranged wife, Carla Reid, 36, and her 14-year-old daughter, Deidre Moore.

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Defense attorney Stephen D. Kulla said a mitigation team from New Jersey has been trying to dig up information about Reid in his native Jamaica in the event he is convicted.

Jury selection was completed Wednesday in Franklin County Court for the double-murder trial scheduled to begin Monday.

Over three days, 54 prospective jurors were called for individual questioning. The prosecution and defense agreed on a panel of eight men and four women to hear the case.

Assistant District Attorney Angela Krom said the two sides also agreed on two men and one woman to serve as alternates.

On Sept. 4, Reid fired Kulla and Public Defender Robert J. Trambley and said he would represent himself at trial. He changed his mind last Friday.

Kulla said Reid has been cooperating in trial preparation, but refuses to provide information about his past that could be used to his benefit in a penalty phase if he is convicted.

"In that area, Mr. Reid is still not cooperating," Kulla said.

He predicted that will not be a factor, "because we expect the jury to find him not guilty."

Judge John R. Walker noted in questioning jurors on Monday that the prosecution will not produce any eyewitness testimony to the shootings.

According to Pennsylvania State Police records, both women were shot to death in beds where some of Carla Reid's five other children were sleeping.

Jury selection was set to run through Friday with groups of about 20 people scheduled for questioning each day. Krom said 17 were dismissed for cause and attorneys used peremptory strikes on 22 others.

From engineers to a fork-lift operator, Kulla said the jury is a cross section of county residents.

"I believe it's fair and impartial, probably more than any jury selected in Franklin County in 10 years," Kulla said.

"We spent a substantial amount of time delving into their lives and their thoughts and opinions on several matters," he said.

The trial is scheduled to last all of next week, but Kulla said the prosecution and defense each have witness lists of more than 50 people.

"I really question whether the testimony will be completed in five days," he said.

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