Gerhartsreiter Trial Preparations

Juror screening in the Gerhartsreiter case began on Monday, March 11. Court resumed on Tuesday as attorneys made motions about evidence to be considered at trial.

Gerhartsreiter is accused of killing LASFS member John Sohus with a dangerous weapon, Judge George Lomelli told potential jurors. Sohus and his wife Linda Sohus disappeared in February 1985 from their home on Lorain Road in San Marino.

The accused is being held in Men’s Central Jail in lieu of $10 million bail. His defense team includes Brad Bailey and Jeffrey Denner, of Boston, and Danielle Menard of Providence. The prosecutor is Deputy District Attorney Habib Balian.

Attorneys may call as many as 93 witnesses, among them Rockefeller’s former wife, Sandra Boss, 15 law enforcement officers, 15 experts, and several residents or former residents ofSan Marino, the town where the murder occurred and Gerhartsreiter once lived under the name Christopher Chichester, the XIII baronet of Chichester.

On Tuesday, Gerhartsreiter’s attorneys Denner and Bailey acknowledged that he’s unlikely to testify in his own defense, but if he does Judge Lomeli will allow his 2009 conviction in Massachussets for child abduction to be admitted. Prosecutor Habib Balian argued the conviciton is evidence of “moral turpitude.”

Defense attorneys reportedly will be allowed to argue to jurors that a third party may have killed John Sohus.

The potential jurors return to the courtroom Friday morning. If the panel is completed in time, trial is set to begin Monday March 18, 2013.

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