Bryson jury pick expected next week

January 27, 1993

A jury in the capital murder case against Michael C. Bryson Sr. is expected to be chosen by early next week, the judge hearing the case said yesterday.

Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Warren B. Duckett Jr., overseeing the third and final phase of juror questioning, said attorneys should have close to 60 jurors to choose from by Monday.

After nearly four weeks of subjecting potential jurors to dozens of questions about their lives, their jobs and their feelings on the death penalty, lawyers in the case will select the 12-member panel and five alternates from the pool of jurors who remain eligible after this week's set of questions.

Mr. Bryson, 26, was charged with first-degree murder and other offenses in the March 25 shotgun killing of Deep Run Hardware Store owner Charles W. Therit. The slaying was Carroll's only homicide in 1992.

State's Attorney Thomas E. Hickman is seeking the death penalty, only the third time he has done so since capital punishment was reinstated in Maryland in 1978.

The case, moved from Carroll to Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, is expected to last up to six weeks once a jury is impaneled.

Yesterday, 24 potential jurors were asked about their views on the death penalty. Judge Duckett disqualified four jurors yesterday. A total of 50 more jurors are to be questioned today and tomorrow.

The case is the first death penalty trial heard by Judge Duckett in his four years on the bench.

"I've said this is going to be a learning experience for me," the judge said.

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