Judge Shea’s courtroom was packed with jurors. Standing room only. Two juries were picked at the same time. One jury was picked for the Goat trial and another jury was picked for a criminal trial. The Goat was seated next to a guy in an orange jump suit who was guarded by two very large Federal marshals.
I arrived a bit late for jury selection. I told the marshals I wanted to observe jury selection. They immediately recognized me as a member of the press and seated me in the press box with a reporter from the New Haven Independent. Paul Bass sent one of his Yale grad reporters to cover Yale grad Greer. We were seated directly across from the goat, and took notes.
The Yale grad reporter had a little reporter notepad, a laptop computer, and a fancy video camera. Larry Noodles just had a yellow legal pad, leftover from his failed lawyer career, and a pen he purchased on the prison commissary.
The Goat was seated with his wife, Sarah Greer. The Goat couldn’t sit still. He must have got up and left the courtroom to go to the bathroom at least ten times. He kept glaring at me with a very angry look on his face. He kept shaking his head, shuffling papers and whispering to his wife and his attorneys. On occasion he smiled at the jurors, who glared back at him. At other times he put his head down and shut his eyes. His wife keep putting her head down and appeared to be staring at the carpet.
Judge Shea asked the potential jurors if they could be fair if a defendant such as the Goat pleaded the Fifth Amendment and refused to answer questions about whether he raped children. Jurors numbered 169, 187, 186, 163, 211, 201, 188, 156, 170, 176, and 174 raised their hands and said they had some issues with the Goat taking the Fifth Amendment.
Judge Shea asked potential jurors if they would feel uncomfortable sitting through a trial involving allegations that the Goat raped children. Jurors numbered 192, 187, 163, 220, 206, 222, 151, 171, 188 and 201 raised their hands and indicated that this was a difficult topic.
Judge Shea asked the potential jurors whether they had any thoughts about Orthodox Jews or Jewish rituals. Juror number 176 said that she was married to a Jew, who was raised in a Jewish family. The Judge asked whether her husband was Orthodox. She indicated that all she knew was that they celebrated the High Holidays and other major festivals. Juror number 173 said she had a friend who was an Orthodox Jew. Juror number 195 said that she was fascinated with Orthodox Judaism and had studied it extensively.
Judge Shea asked the jurors whether they had been exposed to media reports about the goat case. Jurors numbered 187, 173, 171, 182 and 202 indicated that they had been exposed to some media about the case.
After the lawyers finished making their peremptory challenges the jury was chosen. Jurors numbered 173, 218, 190, 204, 227, 164, 189, and 214 were the chosen ones. Five White Women. One Black man with an Oakland Raiders jacket. Two White men.
The trial is scheduled to begin tomorrow at 9 AM. Judge Shea said it is his policy to end the day at 3 PM so that jurors don’t get stuck in rush hour traffic. The trial will start up again next week. There will be no evidence on Friday. It should be over by the end of next week. Judge Shea indicated that Avi Hack will not be appearing at the trial. Avi’s videotaped deposition will be played to the jurors.
The Goat had no supporters, other than his wife, and his wet dream team of attorneys that he is paying about $3K an hour, in the courtroom.
After the jury was picked I went outside and waited with the New Haven Independent reporter for the goat. The Yale grad had a fancy video camera, while I had a cheap Chinese made Rexing dash cam that I had borrowed. We waited for about a half an hour when the Yale grad decided to call it quits and leave. I waited it out and the Goat eventually appeared. I filmed the goat, his wife, and his attorney walking out of the courthouse. I asked them some questions, but they refused to answer.