The Berks-Mont News (http://www.berksmontnews.com)

Lawyer: Bill Cosby retrial could last one month


By Carl Hessler Jr., chessler@21st-centurymedia.com, @MontcoCourtNews on Twitter

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

NORRISTOWN >> Bill Cosby’s retrial on sexual assault charges could last one month, much longer than the actor’s first trial last June, according to his lawyers.

Defense lawyer Thomas Mesereau Jr., of Los Angeles, the leader of Cosby’s defense team, advised Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O’Neill to inform potential jurors during the upcoming selection process that “this trial could be a month.”

The announcement by Mesereau, who successfully represented singer Michael Jackson on molestation charges in 2004, came Tuesday as the judge wrapped up two days of pretrial hearings in the Cosby case.

Cosby’s first trial ended in a mistrial last June 17 after a jury of seven men and five women selected from Allegheny County individually told the judge they were hopelessly deadlocked “on all counts” after deliberating more than 52 hours over six days. The deliberations took longer than the five-day evidentiary portion of the trial.

Mesereau’s prediction of a longer trial came at the same time it was revealed that 3,500 juror summonses have been mailed already to potential jurors in Montgomery County.

The judge noted that while the notices have gone out, some of those county residents may have moved from the area and some make seek deferrals and could be automatically excluded from jury service, thus reducing the number of potential jurors who will actually be available to appear for the selection process on March 29.

Those who will be summoned to the courthouse for the selection process will undergo individual questioning by the lawyers and the judge.

Once selected, the jury of 12 and four alternate jurors is expected to be sequestered at an area hotel for the duration of the trial.