Jury selection underway in trial of Bryce Perkins

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA. (KPLC) - It was a killing that shook the community--a young marine survives the war only to come home and die in a senseless shooting. Marine Daniel Gueringer was said to have intervened to break up a fight at a Fourth of July party--when he was shot and killed.

Five youth were arrested in connection with the incident but police said Bryce Perkins pulled the trigger and he's now on trial for second degree murder. Prosecutor Rick Bryant says one of the unusual things about the case is that because it happened at a large party there are more witnesses that you'd typically have. "I think the facts are very complicated. There are a lot of witnesses. Different witnesses saw different things. That's why we have so many witnesses being called. The state always has the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, so it's a very strong burden and we look forward to meeting it. But it will be a long trial and it's going to require a jury to pay a lot of attention to what they hear."

The process of questioning potential jurors continued through the day--at last word fourteen were undergoing questions as a group. Bryant explains the purpose of extensively questioning potential jurors is to find people who can be fair and unbiased. "Everybody's going to read about a case or get information about a case, especially a homicide case. But if it influenced them to serve as a juror, in order words if they've heard so much they could not be fair and impartial, those persons are excluded by law."

If convicted of second degree murder Perkins will spend life in prison. The trial is expected to last at least through the end of next week.

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