Judge says Abril trial could go into 3rd week

Published 2:49 pm Friday, August 1, 2008

There were still many potential jurors that Guice marked as &dquo;good to go,&dquo; and he denied some whose requests to be excused were based on work requirements or pre-existing opinions regarding the case.

&dquo;Everybody has opinions,&dquo; Guice said.

He added that it doesn&squo;t impress him much when people ask not to serve because of their religion.

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Some motions were heard and granted Friday. Guice also&bsp; consulted with attorneys regarding one issue that Guice wished to not be made public because of its sensitive nature. An attorney with the Hendersonville Times-News was consulting with the judge over that matter last Friday afternoon.

Jury selection began this morning around 10 a.m. That process will likely continue through this Thursday, with testimony beginning next Monday.

Abril faces five counts of statutory rape and one count of sexual offense related to incidents alleged to have occurred in the late 1980s involving two girls ages 10 and 11 at the time.

He was charged with the crimes while he was running for the office of Polk County sheriff in 2006. He won the election, defeating then incumbent David Satterfield.

The Rutherford County Sheriff&squo;s Office has agreed to provide courtroom security during the trial and serve as bailiff. The Columbus Police Department is also handling security outside and around the courthouse during the trial.