Quarter of jury pool for trial is ruled out

THE trial of a young man accused of causing the deaths of four friends in a crash was always going to be big.

How big was hinted at yesterday when nearly a quarter of an expanded pool of potential jurors for the court case was forced to rule themselves out because they knew someone involved in the case.

The young man, who cannot be named, is accused of causing the deaths of his friends, Corey New, 16, Mitchell Eveleigh, 16, Paul Morris, 16, and Bryce Wells, 17, in a crash at Broken Head in October, 2006.

About 100 people were called to join the jury pool - about four times more than normal - and 23 told Lismore District Court Judge Charteris they could not be impartial in the case.

The final jury, selected yesterday, has seven men and five women ranging in age from 30 to 60.

The Crown prosecutor told the packed courtroom that speed, inexperience, the manner of driving, and the rainy conditions on the night all contributed to the accident.

He said 28 witnesses would be called to give evidence during the trial, including five teenagers from a car following the one that crashed. The accused had not been affected by drugs or alcohol at the time.



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