by Monica Velez
Jesse David Lucas will be facing trial this week on six counts involving weapons and drug charges. Some of the charges are possession of drugs for sale, having a concealed firearm in a vehicle, and transporting a loaded firearm.
On the morning of January 19, 2016, Deputy District Attorney Deanna Hays and Deputy Public Defender Teal Dixon were disputing how much information the jury should be allowed to know about Lucas’ other pending charges, some being in El Dorado County.
The six counts Lucas is being charged with in Yolo County took place on February 6, 2015. The other cases that could be brought in as evidence occurred in August 2013, October 2014 and January 2015.
Hays said that Lucas failed to appear in court for all of his previous cases and she told Judge Samuel T. McAdam that Yolo County was the first jurisdiction able to get Lucas to trial. She pressed the importance of finishing this trial first, even though it was the last arrest that occurred.
Dixon said that the past arrests should be given to the jury for knowledge, as they also showed intent to sell. In prior arrests, the amount of heroin Lucas had been arrested with was 80 to 90 grams.
Judge McAdam decided to allow the jury to know that Lucas had been arrested previously for intent to sell heroin, but to leave the actual amounts of heroin out of evidence – the judge said he needed to keep this case in perspective.
Hays brought up another instance from one of Lucas’ prior arrests. He had had Ecstasy as well as heroin, but took all of the Ecstasy some time while he was in custody, and overdosed, resulting in a trip to the emergency room. Hays said the doctor who would testify in the case would bring evidence for her claims.
Hays argued that the defendant knew he was bringing Ecstasy onto jail grounds and that he might have taken all the Ecstasy knowing that he would overdose, which would get him out of jail.
The question to bring up the other types of drugs Lucas had in prior cases, besides heroin, was addressed, with the judge ultimately deciding to keep that information from the jury’s knowledge.
After these details were decided, a group of 77 prospective jurors entered the courtroom a little past 11:00a.m. The jury selection began with technical delays, such as the court being given the wrong list of potential jurors, so that the panel was forced to wait longer before consideration of their requests to be excused for hardship.
Today the court was able to get through questioning the first group of 22 potential jurors, and after 11 were excused, another 10 possible jurors took their places.
Judge McAdam halted the proceedings at 4:15 p.m., telling the remaining prospective jurors they all must come back January 20, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. to finish the voir dire process. The judge assured the group that the court would finish selecting the jury before noon.