SCHOHARIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Jury selection for the criminal trial of Nauman Hussain, in connection with the 2018 crash that killed 20 people, continued into its fifth day.
A new panel of 90 prospective jurors was brought in for orientation and questioning. The group is told the basics of the case and Judge Peter Lynch walks them through the indictment.
Hussain is charged with 20 counts of manslaughter and 20 counts of criminally negligent homicide. According to Judge Lynch, he can be found not guilty of both or guilty of only one or the other.
After orientation, prospective jurors are brought to the jury box, in groups of 16, for questioning from Judge Lynch, Special District Attorney Fred Rench and Hussain’s defense attorney Lee Kindlon.
Picking a jury for this trial has proven to be difficult because of how high-profile the crash is. Throughout jury selection, the court dismisses people who have connections to first responders who responded to the 2018 crash, the witnesses or others who say they would not be able to be fair and impartial jurors.
Hussain’s defense attorney, Lee Kindlon, said they expect opening statements to start early next week.
“I think that all of us are going to get to opening statements and the proof of the case,” Kindlon said. “But, we’re being as deliberate as possible.”
Looking to the trial, Kindlon said he is working with Schoharie County District Attorney, Susan Mallory, to narrow down the 130 names on the witness list. He said they could still call over 100 people to the stand.
“It’s out real hope that we’re going to be able to stipulate to some evidence to eliminate some witnesses coming in just to move the trial along,” Kindlon said.