Jury selection continues in Yousel Rivera trial
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Jury selection continued today in the trial of Yousel Rivera, charged with felony attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.
According to police reports, Rivera was arrested after firing three shots at a Cape Coral police officer during a routine traffic stop in April 2011.
Rivera appeared in court today as jury selection continued for a second day.
Rivera entered a 'not guilty' plea by reason of insanity earlier this year.
Attorneys spent the morning weeding through dozens of potential jurors, looking to find six that were fit for trial - a task that proved to be more difficult than expected.
"I'm just hoping that the media is responsible in the coverage of this case and mindful of the danger of reporting things," said presiding Judge Mark Steinbeck.
At the center of the debate was media coverage leading up to the trial and specifically police dash cam video released by the State Attorney's Office.
Cape Coral Police says the video fully depicts the incident.
In the video you can see Cape Coral Police Officer David Wagnor walking up to the driver to collect ID without incident.
Officer Wagnor then walks over to the passenger side of the car.
The video then shows a person pulling out a gun and shooting the officer multiple times at point blank range.
Cape Coral Police say Rivera is the man who is seen in the video firing the shots.
According to police, Rivera was later arrested after a chase that led him to crash his car into a house and jump into a garbage can, naked, hiding from authorities.
Today, Rivera appeared attentive in court as legal council examined jurors - at times disagreeing on what should be considered potential bias by those who may have read reports or saw that chilling dash cam video.
"You might get very different evidence from some impression you had, and that's the very reason of those rules," said State Attorney Steve Russell.
"You believe that the video is accurate. Have you heard anything to indicate that it's not accurate," asked Rivera's defense team.