PEORIA, Ill. (WCIA) — When Brendt Christensen’s trial starts next week, everyone in the courtroom could be wearing headphones.
Assistant US Attorney Eugene Miller told judge James Shadid he’s concerned the room’s acoustics could cause reverberation when recorded audio tapes are played. He says there are portions in which the words being spoken could be disputed or misheard if they’re played aloud.
Miller told Shadid his team wants headphones to be available to make it easier for participants to hear.
“Is the defense aware of this?” Shadid asked Christensen’s legal team. “They are now,” replied Assistant Public Defender Elisabeth Pollock.
Throughout the week, several potential jurors have told the judge they’re concerned serving would interfere with their family vacations.
Many of them are already paid for, and have been planned for a year. Shadid said he would address those concerns individually and in his chambers.
One potential juror told Shadid she knew a man on the witness list. She said she knew him as a customer at the place she works. Shadid asked if that relationship would interfere with her ability to serve. She said it wouldn’t.
As of Thursday morning, 45 potential jurors had been qualified. The goal is to reach 70 by the end of the week. Opening statements are scheduled to start Wednesday.