Daily News multimedia journalist Victoria Macchi will be live tweeting from the Tia Poklemba trial this morning.
On the first day of trial in the case against Luis Gonzalez, attorneys spent the morning whittling down a jury pool of 40 candidates in a Fort Myers courtroom.
Eight jurors, including two alternates, were chosen – five women and three men.
The court is now in recess and will reconvene at 1:45 p.m., when opening statements are expected.
Gonzalez, 27, is accused in the 2008 hit-and-run death of Tia Poklemba in San Carlos Park. He faces charges of failing to stop or remain at a crash scene involving death, and negligent manslaughter with a weapon. Both are first-degree felonies, with a maximum sentence of 30 years on each count.
Gonzalez, dressed in a black suit and white shirt, sat between his two lawyers throughout the morning and turned around several times to smile at his mother and family.
Four rows behind them, Poklemba’s mother and two sisters sat at the back of the courtroom.
Two newspaper deliverymen running an early morning route found Poklemba in the middle of a dark road around 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 8, 2008. She died within half an hour of their 911 call.
Lee County sheriff’s investigators believe Gonzalez gave 25-year-old Poklemba a ride in his Cadillac CTS after the two met at a nearby bar.
Her injuries were consistent with being run over by a car several times and her DNA was found on the undercarriage of the Cadillac, which was owned by Gonzalez and his girlfriend, according to Sheriff’s Office reports obtained by the Daily News as public records in the case.
Defense attorney Donald Day asked possible jurors Tuesday if they would be able to look at graphic images during the trial.
Attorneys for both sides anticipate concluding the trial Friday.
A jury selection is set to begin in the trial of the man accused of dragging her under his Cadillac and leaving her to die from injuries to nearly every part of her body.
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