The Clarion-Ledger, 2/4/9

Potential jurors’ opinions of Jackson Mayor Frank Melton were mixed and strong Tuesday during the second day of jury selection in the upcoming federal civil rights trial of Melton and his former police bodyguard, Michael Recio.

Melton, 59, and Recio, 39, are accused of violating search-and-seizure laws related to their role in an Aug. 26, 2006, warrantless raid on a Ridgeway Street duplex. They face five to 25 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Potential jurors have been pulled from the entire 45-county Southern District of Mississippi, partly because of the media attention Melton’s case has received. Of the pool of 100, 95 showed up Monday and 30 were cut.

By the end of court Tuesday, at least 22 potential jurors were questioned and at least nine of them were excused. The slow pace of questioning means the court likely will have difficulty seating a jury by Friday, although that is still U.S. District Judge Dan Jordan’s goal.