Feds: Query jury pool for Melton trial in private

U.S. Justice Department prosecutor Mark Blumberg filed a motion Wednesday asking U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Jordan to approve closing some of the jury selection to the public. Blumberg asked Jordan to allow jurors to be interviewed individually in the judge’s chambers because of “the sensitive nature of the topics which must be explored in this case.”

Melton and former bodyguards Marcus Wright and Michael Recio are charged with civil rights and weapons violation charges. Their trial has been set for Nov. 12.

Blumberg also asked Jordan to let fill out a questionnaire two weeks before the trial, which he said “would encourage more candid responses to sensitive questions.”

“As the Court is aware, this is a high-profile case involving a sitting elected official who is one of the most well-known political leaders in the state of Mississippi,” he wrote in the motion.

Clarion Ledger