It looked like a crowd entering a football or baseball game.
Instead, the people who lined up at the Rockwall County courthouse Friday are among the three thousand residents summoned here as part of the Eric Williams death penalty case.
Those who came filled out questionnaires as the judge and attorneys started the process of eliminating people from sitting on a jury.
Non-Rockwall County residents are disqualified from sitting on the jury, and anyone age 70 or over is exempt, but can decide to continue in the process.
The trial is scheduled to begin October 20th, and Barry Sorrels, a Dallas trial attorney credits Dallas County Judge Michael Snipes who’s handling the case, with starting the process early.
Sorrels says, “I think it’s a smart decision on his part to start in March in a case of this nature, with this much publicity, and to sit a qualified jury for an October trial. I think it makes sense.”
The judge moved the case to Rockwall County after Williams, a former Kaufman County Justice of the Peace, feared he wouldn’t get a fair trial in Kaufman County.
Williams and his wife Kim, who’s case has not been moved out of Kaufman County, are accused of killing former District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia, and his former top assistant Mark Hasse last year.