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60 people to be called for murder trial jury duty

July 03, 2007|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A 23rd Judicial Circuit judge on Monday requested 60 people be summoned for jury duty in the upcoming murder trial of a New York City man accused in the shooting death of Martinsburg resident Donald L. "Dee" Redman.

Judge Gray Silver III said he felt "comfortable" with the number for John J. Grant's trial after experiencing problems with getting enough people to show up for jury duty.

Grant, aka "Butter," is accused of shooting Redman, 29, in the head at a North Third Street residence in Martinsburg in the early morning of Oct. 27, 2005.

Indicted in October 2006, Grant's trial is slated to begin Aug. 7 and is expected to last at least four days, attorneys said.

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Court-appointed defense attorney B. Craig Manford predicted a "good ol' fashion" trial that basically will center around the credibility of witnesses.

He doubted his client would accept the state's plea offer - life in prison with "mercy." That sentence offers the opportunity for parole after serving at least 15 years of the sentence.

"I don't believe he's inclined to accept that offer," Manford told Silver.

As for seating the jury, Games-Neely predicted more problems because of the 10 to 15 witnesses expected to testify in the trial, versus the out-of-state defendant himself.

"A lot of names people are going to recognize," said Games-Neely, who recommended 40 to 50 jurors be summoned for the trial.

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