Jury Selected; Molestation Trial to Begin for Accused Deacon
December 2, 2003
HEREFORD - Prosecutors and defense attorneys took most of Monday to pick a jury as the molestation trial of a Hereford deacon got underway.
The two sides agreed to a seven-woman, five-man jury after a full day of voir dire in the trial of Jesse Guerrero, 55, who is facing three charges of indecency with a child.
District Attorney Jim English said the jury selection was made difficult by the defendant's status as a prominent member of the community.
"It took longer than I thought," English said of jury selection. "It was mainly just because he's well-known. There's a lot of people in this city that know him."
Guerrero has been in Hereford since becoming a deacon for the Diocese of Amarillo in 1989. He was placed on administrative leave after a complaint was filed with authorities.
Guerrero turned himself in to authorities in July 2002 after a grand jury indicted him on the three charges. The indictments alleged Guerrero made indecent contact with three children in Hereford between the summer of 2001 and March of 2002.
A call to Guerrero's attorney, William Kelly, was not returned Monday.
English said the trial will reconvene this morning with the hearing of several motions, then the jury is scheduled to convene at 10 a.m. The trial likely will last several days.
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