Jury selected in trial of Punta Gorda chief

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. A jury was selected Friday in the first trial stemming from the shooting death of Mary Knowlton at a citizens academy training class last August.

The full panel of six jurors and two alternates were picked after 12 hours of jury selection in the case against Police Chief Tom Lewis, who’s charged with culpable negligence in Knowlton’s death.

But finding an impartial jury proved to be a challenge due to the high-profile nature of the shooting, and only a few of the initial 100 potential jurors didn’t know about the shooting.

“It was a longer haul than I thought it was going to be,” said Chris Dinunno, who was dismissed as a juror. “The attorneys took about two hours each to tell us all about the different rules of law and then they interviewed us one by one. That took about four hours, so it was a lot longer than everybody thought.”

The trial is scheduled to begin Monday.

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