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Briefly In Public Safety

April 11, 2008

Jury pool is shrinking in train-crash case

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge excused more than 30 jurors Thursday and allowed about 100 photographs to be shown as evidence for the upcoming trial of 29-year-old Juan Manuel Alvarez, who faces capital murder charges for allegedly causing a 2005 Metrolink derailment that killed 11 and left nearly 200 people injured.

Judge William R. Pounders released the jurors for a variety of reasons, including economic and medical, in a continued effort to find 16 jurors acceptable to the defense and prosecution, defense attorney Michael Belter said.

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Pounders also admitted 111 photos into evidence to be used in the trial and threw out about a dozen that he deemed unnecessary and redundant, Belter said.

The photos showed where some victims died, injuries suffered by passengers and pictures of autopsied bodies.

On Monday, attorneys for both sides plan to question 65 possible jurors, a process that will be repeated Thursday and April 21.


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