Thursday, May 23, 2013
By Betty Adams email@example.com
SKOWHEGAN — Jury selection in the case of Daniel L. Fortune, 22, of Augusta, took all of Tuesday morning in Somerset County Superior Court.
More than 130 potential jurors reported to court and initially filled out a questionnaire asking whether they could decide fairly a case involving an individual or individuals of a minority race. The jurors all appeared to be white.
Fortune, who is black, faces 14 criminal charges: four counts of aggravated attempted murder, two counts each of elevated aggravated assault and violation of conditions of release, and one count each of attempted murder, robbery, burglary, conspiracy to commit robbery, theft, and failure to appear in court.
The charges are connected to a predawn machete attack at the Pittston home of the Guerrette family and a Nov. 17, 2007, theft from the same residence.
The machete attack left businessman and former legislator William Guerrette Jr., now 50, and his daughter, Nicole, now 12, hospitalized for weeks with severe injuries.
The case was transferred from Kennebec County—site of the home invasion May 27, 2008, and the theft of more than $100,000—at the request of Fortune's attorney, Pamela Ames.
Justice Michaela Murphy, who is presiding over the trial, told jurors the trial will begin 9 a.m. Thursday and run for about eight days.
Fortune, wearing a green, long-sleeved shirt watched the jury selection while seated at the defense table next to Robert Ringer, an attorney assisting Pamela Ames.
By 12:45 p.m., a jury of 11 men and five women—which includes four alternates—was seated.