After heated selection process, judge chooses jurors

Testimony for the Hattiesburg Mayoral Election Challenge begins at 9 in the morning in the case of Dave Ware versus Johnny DuPree. A jury of 7 whites and 5 blacks were seated today after the selection process took longer than expected.

The Hattiesburg Mayoral Election Challenge trial was initially presumed to highlight voter irregularities, until race was brought up. This happened when DuPree attorney Precious Martin took the floor, saying the initial jury selection was racially motivated after the Ware team struck all but one black potential juror, but the Ware camp disagreed.

“Almost every one of those persons had some kind of connection, employment with the city, or close personal friends with Mr. DuPree,” said Michael Reed, Ware attorney.

After a successful challenge for the DuPree team, the final juror outcome ended up resulting in 7 white residents, and 5 black residents. Judge Coleman said both sides prejudicially struck mostly black and white jurors. The final jury makeup is 1 black male, 4 black females, 2 white males, and 5 white females.