SIDNEY – District Judge Susan Christensen ordered new jurors called to the courthouse Tuesday as the original panel of 45 diminished in the sex abuse trial of Roger Craig Kissel, the former pastor of Sidney’s Cowboy Church.
A total of 18 potential jurors were eliminated from the panel in the morning regarding admissions of bias. Potential jurors were asked if they or someone they know well has ever been sexually abused.
When there were only two jurors left, who had not yet been seated as the panel of 24, Judge Christensen ordered Clerk Robin Shirley to call more people in.
One of the 10 who came on short notice was Barbara McQueen of Farragut, who had just sat down to lunch at 12:45 p.m. and was told to be at court in Sidney 15 minutes later.
She said missing the meal did impact her blood sugar, but she was happy to have done her duty.
Assistant Attorney General Denise Timmons said the number of people dismissed is not unusual in cases of this nature, but Shirley said it is the first time in her 17 years that she had to call people in.
Kissel, 67, has entered not guilty pleas to allegations of abuse involving a five-year-old girl in 2013. Prosecutors have said the charges, which include lascivious acts and indecent exposure, are not connected with the church.