Jury selected and seated in Fairley trial

Jury selected and seated in Fairley trial
A South Mississippi grand jury indicted four Pine Belt residents for their alleged roles in a multi-million dollar scheme. (Photo source: Raycom News Network)

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The jury has been selected and seated for a Hattiesburg pastor's federal trial.

Twelve jurors were chosen from a pool of 60 for Rev. Kenneth Fairley's federal trial.

Judge Keith Starrett called a brief recess after selection and asked the newly-chosen jury to be seated again at 2:35 p.m.

A hearing will be held at 2 p.m. to address motions dealing with Fairley's co-defendant Artie Fletcher and his attorney Clarence Roby.

The motions filed by Fairley's counsel claim Fletcher and Roby were working as government informants by former Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst.

Arnold Spencer, Fairley's attorney, said it is was essential to hear Hurst's story during the hearing.

The defense is currently trying to track down Hurst, and witnesses will be called over the phone for the hearing.

If Starrett rules against the motions, the case will proceed with opening arguments.

About the jury: 

There are 12 jurors and two alternates.

Seven of the jurors are women, and five are men.

There are six black jurors, and six white jurors.

Both alternates are black, one is a male and the other is a female.

The selection process: 

A pool of 60 potential jurors were summoned for the Fairley, Fletcher federal trial Tuesday afternoon.

The jurors were summoned from the entire Southern District, spanning from Vicksburg to The Coast.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Golden will be representing the federal government in the case.

Golden listed several potential witnesses, including former mayoral candidate David Ware and Hattiesburg city council person Henry Naylor.

Judge Keith Starrett will preside over the case, and expects the trial to last three to four days.

Several spectators were seen in the court before a brief recess, including Hattiesburg city council person Deborah Delgado.

Previous juror reports: 

There were 13 potential  jurors that said they have heard about the trial ahead of today from media reports, although none of the reports would impact the ability of the jurors.

At least one juror said they had, "dealings with friends from back in the day" with Fairley, and it would impact their ability as a juror.

Six potential jurors have served on grand juries in the past.

Several potential jurors had heard of Mount Carmel Baptist Church, which is Kenneth Fairley's church.  None of the potential jurors have attended services regularly, or knew Fairley personally.