Robert Heitbrink murder trial, Day 1 recap

By Gary Scott on October 13, 2015 at 6:53pm

Eight down, six to go for the jury selection in the Robert Heitbrink murder trial.

Selection began yesterday in the case of Heitbrink, who is charged with three counts of first degree murder. Heitbrink is accused of stabbing his father-in-law, William McElhaney, to death in Heitbrink’s Jacksonville home in July of 2013.

Circuit Judge Chris Reif, who is presiding over the case, told prospective jurors Heitbrink is claiming self-defense.

In what may be an indication of the high-profile nature of this case, 19 of the 28 first jurors selected indicated they knew something about the case. One man, who would be dismissed eventually, indicated a long, close relationship with the Heitbrink family, and said it would be a hindrance.

Several others indicated either knowing members of the Heitbrink family or knowing enough about the case that it would impact their ability to be impartial.      A third pool of fourteen jurors was selected to end proceedings for Tuesday. Those potential jurors will be questioned today. Judge Reif said hopefully, the twelve-jury panel, with two alternates, will be finalized by noon Wednesday.

Reif said the Heitbrink trial could go into mid-next week.