First juror dismissed in Hamad case for knowing 'lunch lady'
The first of 10 people dismissed Thursday from serving on the jury in the Nasser Hamad aggravated-murder trial apparently was viewed as too close to one of the witnesses in the case.
The woman was among the first 12 people seated in the jury box. Those 12 would remain in those seats unless one of the attorneys for the prosecution or defense uses a peremptory challenge and asks for the person to be dismissed.
No reason for the dismissal is required.
The 12 and the other approximately 30 people seated in the gallery were told the names of witnesses expected to testify at the trial and were asked if they knew any of them.
By the end of the elimination process, six men and six women were seated on the jury, and four women were selected as alternates.
The first person dismissed said she knew a little about Tracy Hendrickson, a woman Judge Ronald Rice has called to testify at the trial. Hendrickson is Hamad’s girlfriend and the mother of Bryce Hendrickson, 20, one of the people Hamad is accused of shooting Feb. 25 in a confrontation in front of Hamad’s home on state Route 46 in Howland. Two other young men died that day.
The potential juror said Tracy Hendrickson was the “lunch lady 10 years ago at the school where my kids went to school.”
The woman added, “I don’t know her. I just know she was the lunch lady.”
The potential juror said she also knew Hendrickson and her husband, Brian Hendrickson, from peewee football when their kids were young.
Chris Becker, assistant county prosecutor, asked the potential juror if she realized that Tracy Hendrickson had “liked” the woman’s Facebook page at some point. The woman said she didn’t know that and was not a “friend” of hers.
Read more about the case in Friday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.