Jurors selected, Bliefnick trial starts Tuesday
QUINCY (WGEM) - It took almost a full 9 hours to select the 12 jurors and 4 alternates for the murder trial of Timothy Bliefnick, the Quincy man being charged with fatally shooting his estranged wife.
Entering Monday’s jury selection, the jury pool stood at 71 people. However, prosecutors and the defense questioned only 47 to get the 16 they needed.
Appearing in groups of four, potential jurors were questioned about their knowledge of the case, their personal connection to witnesses, the victim and the defendant.
A large majority of potential jurors answered they already had prior knowledge about the case before entering the courtroom, although only a few said it would have lead them to be an impartial juror.
Potential jurors were also questioned about their belongingness to any clubs, organizations or churches. Those that knew the Bliefnick family well or any of the witnesses well were excused from trial.
Bliefnick’s attorney Casey Schnack inquired primarily about divorce as it relates to the case. Adams County Assistant State’s Attorney Josh Jones focused on wiping away any preconceived notions about the trial process.
Before questioning both the morning and afternoon group, Judge Robert Adrian read aloud the list of witnesses that could be called to testify.
The witness list consists of more than 120 names. 30 of which are affiliated with Quincy Police Department, less than five are affiliated with Adams County Ambulance, more than 10 are affiliated with the Illinois State Police and the Illinois State Police Crime Lab. Another 98 or so miscellaneous names fill out the list.
Concluding the final group’s questioning, Jones said his opening statement on Tuesday will take around 30 minutes. Schnack said hers will take 15 to 20 minutes.
All jurors report to the courthouse at 8:45 a.m. as trial will get underway at 9 a.m.
Bliefnick faces two counts of first-degree murder and one count of home invasion. If found guilty, he could face up to life in prison.
Bliefnick was arrested on March 13 and has been lodged in the Adams County Jail without bond ever since.
WGEM News will live blog via Twitter throughout the trial.
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- Judge Adrian approves petition from local media, sets hearing date
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- Judge orders up to $10,000 from county to aid Bliefnick defense
- Bliefnick pleads not guilty to murder of estranged wife
- Bliefnick makes first court appearance, judge denies bail
- Estranged husband of homicide victim charged with murder
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- Quincy Police share more information about homicide investigation
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