Jury selection for a death penalty trial is on pace to set a New Mexico record and Santa Fe County residents will play a part in it.
Our media partners at KOB-TV report (http://bit.ly/xd4XCc) that the jury clerk will send out more than 2,500 jury summons in the death penalty phase of the Michael Astorga case.
In December, a state District Judge in Albuquerque ordered this phase of the case be moved to Santa Fe, meaning the potential jurors will all be Santa Fe County residents and it will be 2,500 Santa Fe County residents receiving those summons.
Astorga was convicted in the 2006 killing of Bernalillo County Deputy James McGrane Jr.
Officials say the 2,500 summons would be a state record and jury selection could take up to 2 months.
Jurors in the deputy slaying case will have to decide whether to impose the death penalty or life in prison for Astorga.
The state Supreme Court said Astorga can still face the death penalty in that case despite a later repeal of the state's death penalty law.
(source: Santa Fe New Mexican)