Jury selection could finish today

Published 9:44 am Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Jury selection continued for a second day Tuesday in Freeborn County District Court in the case of former Albert Lea City Manager Jim Norman.

Mower County District Court Judge Fred Wellmann, who is presiding in the case, said he anticipates selection to wrap up today with the actual trial beginning later in the day.

As of the end of the day Tuesday, six out of an original pool of 42 prospective jurors had been eliminated — most because they said they did not think they would be able to be fair and impartial as a juror because of a previous opinion formed on the case.

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Norman faces allegations that he misused the city-issued credit card for personal purchases during his short time as city manager. He started in April 2010 in the position and resigned in September amid the allegations as part of a separation agreement.

He faces seven felony counts and one gross misdemeanor count on the case.

Prospective jurors were questioned individually by Norman’s lawyer, Peggy Rockow, and prosecutor Brenda Miller with the Waseca County Attorney’s Office about their exposure to the case, from both print and broadcast media, along with discussions from friends and family.

Questioning did not begin until after lunch as Norman’s lawyer had a family funeral to attend in the morning.

The trial is slated to last the rest of the week.