A group of potential jurors said during jury selection in the Ahman Arberry murder trial that they are seeing a narrative, not a murder.
There were 12 potential jurors who believed Arberry is innocent and another 12 who believe the physical evidence will prove he killed 37-year-old college student Naomi McDaniel on September 14, 2014.
The jurors will return for jury selection again on March 21. No one knows how long they might serve. It is expected the trial will take a month.
It’s an unusual situation for defense attorneys. Usually, their strategy is to get more. Lawyers have their own logic and theory for the alleged crime, and the attorneys prefer a jury of their peers who share the same with theories about the case.
In Arberry’s case, a murder that was initially thought to be an act of road rage has developed into a trial over an illegally purchased gun, with two different stories in regards to its ownership.
Arberry is accused of having stolen a gun from McDaniel’s bedroom and then turning around to shoot her two hours later. He admits to the murder and says he accidentally killed her. The family and some neighbors claim the gun was legally purchased. Both cases are being heard by different juries.
He sat with his lawyers in a cramped courtroom for two days last week and answered questions from Delray Beach County Circuit Judge Thomas M. Einhorn.
One juror, a semi-retired woman who lived close to where McDaniel lived, said she had discussed the case with friends who’d formed their own opinions and reasons for believing Arberry is innocent. She said she had been “keeping an open mind.”