Monday was day one of jury selection for the trial of a Presque Isle man accused of murder. A group of 112 people came to Houlton Superior Court – they were introduced to George Jaime, and starting next week, 12 of them will decide whether or not he’s guilty.
Justice Robert Murray spoke to a large pool of potential jurors – telling them everything they need to know if they’re selected for Jaime’s trial. It’s a case that a lot folks in the area have had questions about since Jaime’s sudden arrest in the summer of 2012.
The 76 year old was arrested at The Star City Trading Post – his pawnshop on Main Street in Presque Isle. He was charged with murder in connection with the death of Starlette or “Star” Vining. Vining had been missing since the fall of 1998, but her disappearance wasn’t reported until 8 years later. Few details were released to the public about what led police to Jaime but State Police say Jaime and Vining were in a relationship in 1998. Her body has not been found.
Jaime appeared in court in a wheelchair, dressed in a gray suit. We were not able to get video of anyone but the judge. The jury pool was asked to fill out two questionnaires which they turned over to the court. After the judge, the prosecutor, and defense reviewed the questionnaires — which took a few hours — almost a third of the jury pool was eliminated.
The rest were asked to stay for individual questioning through the end of the day, and some asked to return on Tuesday. Court officials say jury selection for murder cases tend to take a few days. The trial is expected to start the 12th.