Jury selection ongoing in Robert Cash attempted murder trial
January 10, 2012
Steamboat Springs — Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the completion of jury selection Tuesday and the slated commencement of opening statements Wednesday.
After two full days in the courtroom, eight women and six men were sworn in Tuesday to serve as the 12 jurors and two alternates for the Robert Cash attempted murder trial.
Attorneys are expected to make their opening statements Wednesday when the trial resumes at 8:30 a.m.
Clerk of the Court and Jury Commissioner Tracey Epley said 165 people arrived for jury duty Monday morning. By Tuesday afternoon, the group had been whittled to about 75 potential jurors, many of whom were concerned jury selection might stretch into a third day. The trial is scheduled for seven days.
With a final group of 28 potential jurors, the final step was for the prosecution and defense to each eliminate seven.
"All right, we have a jury," 14th Judicial District Judge Shelley Hill said at about 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Hill thanked all the potential jurors, many of whom were missing work.
"Thank you all very much," Hill said. "This is a very important process. It is the bedrock of our democracy."
After opening statements Wednesday morning, the prosecution will begin presenting its evidence.
Fourteenth Judicial District District Attorney Elizabeth Oldham is prosecuting the case with Routt County Chief Deputy District Attorney Rusty Prindle.
Oldham said that they intend to call about 13 witnesses and that their portion of the trial should last through Thursday or Friday morning.
Rhonda Heaton, the former wife of Robert Cash, is expected to testify but not Wednesday, Oldham said. Robert Cash is accused of shooting his then-wife in the back of the neck June 11, 2010, at their Iris Lane home before shooting himself in the chest.
Cash is being represented by Routt County Public Defender Sheryl Uhlmann, who does not speak about cases with members of the media.
Cash, who was 55 when the incident occurred, is charged with attempted first-degree murder and crime of violence, both felonies. If convicted, he could be sentenced to 16 to 48 years in prison.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com