Jury selection wraps up in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial
Prosecutors and the defense wrapped up jury selection in the Bill Cosby sexual assault case Thursday, setting the stage for the first big celebrity trial of the #MeToo era.
All six alternates – half of them black – were picked without incident after an earlier showdown over the jury’s racial makeup. Alternate jurors listen to the evidence and testimony, but do not participate in jury deliberations unless called upon to replace jurors on the main panel.
Cosby’s lawyers had accused prosecutors of discrimination for removing a black woman from consideration on the main jury of 12 that will decide the fate of the 80-year-old black comedian.
The district attorney’s office rejected the allegation, noting that prosecutors had no objection to seating two other black people on the jury. The other 10 jurors are white. There are seven men and five women.
Opening statements are scheduled for Monday in a trial that’s expected to last a month.
As he left the courthouse, Cosby thanked a woman who wished him good luck. His spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, urged jurors to remain “fair and impartial,” adding, “We would want them to erase everything they heard outside this courtroom when they come in for Monday.”
Cosby faces three felonies stemming from allegations by a former Temple University women’s basketball administrator who says Cosby gave her pills that made her woozy, then assaulted her at his home in the Philadelphia suburbs in 2004.
Son of Sean Penn and Robin Wright arrested in Nebraska
The son of Sean Penn and Robin Wright has been arrested on drug possession charges in Nebraska.
A Nebraska State Patrol spokesman says the actors’ 24-year-old son, Hopper Penn, and his girlfriend, 26-year-old Uma Von Wittkamp, were arrested Wednesday afternoon after a trooper stopped their vehicle on Interstate 80.
Authorities say the trooper detected drug activity inside the vehicle and found 14 grams of marijuana, four amphetamine pills and 3 grams of mushrooms.
Von Wittkamp was charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance. Penn was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana. Possession of a controlled substance is a felony.
They were both taken to the Hamilton County Jail.
Lou Diamond Phillips pleads guilty to drunk driving in Texas
Actor Lou Diamond Phillips has been banned from drinking alcohol for two years after pleading guilty to driving while intoxicated in Texas.
Phillips was also sentenced to two years of probation during a court appearance Wednesday near Corpus Christi, where he grew up.
The Philippines-born actor had traveled from his home in California for a speaking engagement in November when he was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.
Police said an officer suspected the 56-year-old Phillips had been drinking when he stopped to ask the officer for directions.