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Judge Stops Jury Selection, Can't Find Impartial Jurors

TAVARES, Fla. (AP) - A Florida judge is stopping the jury-selection
process in the trial of John Couey the man accused of kidnapping, sexually assaulting and killing a nine-year-old girl.

The judge says it became clear that an impartial jury can't be
found in a courtroom so close to the girl's home town.

He'd already moved the jury selection to Lake County, about 50
miles away, because of the publicity surrounding the case. But now,
he's found that wasn't far enough.

Attorneys had spent three days trying to find jurors who hadn't
been exposed to news reports about the kidnapping and death of
Jessica Lunsford.

It's not clear if the judge is going to move just the jury selection process, or if the whole trial will be moved.

Couey, a sex offender, has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, sexual battery, kidnapping and burglary.

The girl's body was found about a month after she disappeared
from her home, near the mobile home where Couey had been living.


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