Jury selection continues in Soria Sr. case
Jury selection is expected to continue Monday in the trial of Thomas Robert Soria Sr., who is charged with the March 19 murder and sexual assault of 9-year-old Krystal Steadman.
Twelve of 36 potential jurors passed muster Friday and Judge Dave Gamble said he expects to complete the selection process Wednesday or Thursday.
Soria looked straight ahead Friday as attorneys questioned the people who may ultimately decide his fate.
Soria, 39, wearing a blue suit coat, was flanked by attorneys Mike Roeser and John Springgate.
Potential jurors were brought into the Douglas district courtroom one at a time and addressed by Gamble.
Gamble started the questioning by asking what newspapers the potential jurors read and how much information they had about the trial before coming into court.
Some said they were familiar with the case, but would be able to set aside the information they read or heard through the media and come to a fair conclusion.
Gamble then explained Nevada’s rules on the death penalty, which requires the jury to render a verdict, and then, if the defendant is convicted, determine the sentence.
Prosecutors are seeking the death sentence if Soria is convicted, but depending on evidence presented during sentencing, he could face life in prison without parole, life with parole or a 50-year sentence.
Gamble said if there is a sentencing phase, evidence both of the aggravating circumstances that call for the death sentence and mitigating circumstances would be presented.
Springgate focused on the death penalty in his questioning, asking specifically if a juror believed that life without parole meant that the convicted person would remain in prison for the rest of their lives.
Jury selection started Wednesday, with 300 people summoned.
Jurors are being selected for what could be a six-week trial. It is expected that Soria’s son, Thomas Soria Jr., who pleaded guilty to murder and kidnapping in the case, will testify against his father.