Slip of tongue by judge sends jury pool home

From Staff ReportsApril 11, 2006 

An inadvertent slip of the tongue by a Superior Court judge Monday delayed the start of a murder trial.

While conducting jury selection Monday morning, Judge Abraham Jones referred to defendant Kenneth Wayne Maready as a "habitual felon," said David Saacks, an assistant district attorney.

Returning after lunch, Jones announced that his comment was enough to dismiss the entire pool of jurors. "A technical matter has come up, and I have to let you go," Jones told members of the jury pool.

A new pool will convene this morning, and attorneys are expected to spend much of the day selecting the jury.

Maready is charged with second-degree murder, accused of stealing a car about 14 months ago, fleeing from a sheriff's deputy, and killing a Durham woman when he slammed into her truck. Authorities say Maready, who had already been convicted of drunk driving at least six times, was drunk at the time.

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