Jury selection begins for Seattle Pacific University shooting

Elisa Hahn reports

SEATTLE -- Aaron Ybarra is accused of walking onto the campus at Seattle Pacific University -- shooting several students killing one of them.

As his trial is set to start, the challenge is finding a jury that can fairly decide, if he's guilty, or innocent by reason of insanity.

Ybarra is charged with one count of murder in the first degree, three counts of attempted murder, and one count of assault.

By all publicized accounts -- Aaron Ybarra has never denied planning the June 2014 shooting at Seattle Pacific University. The day of the shooting he confessed during interrogation.

To find an impartial jury, the court brought in a pool of more than 100 people.

Many of the aspects of the case have been subjected to extensive media coverage: a mass shooting on a college campus, the heroic actions of student John Meis who not only disarmed the suspect, but the entire act was captured in surveillance footage, and then there is Ybarra's videotaped confession.

But as his attorney appears to be preparing an insanity defense... prospective jurors answered more questions, like the ones on this questionnaire, on beliefs they had about mental illness.

Some of them admitted to strong opinions. One juror wrote, “I have a tendency to think it’s a load of B.S.”

The goal is to find sixteen people, a jury of twelve and four alternates, who can listen to five weeks of testimony and evidence, and then decide on a young man's fate.

Open arguments begin a week from Monday.

Copyright 2016 KING


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