Jury selection in Greitens case continues to drag with 43 jurors moving on to next phase of questioning

The team of lawyers prosecuting Governor Eric Greitens have stopped looking for the photo at the center of his felony invasion of privacy trial, according to Greitens’ team.

Defense lawyers representing Greitens said in court Monday they were told by the circuit attorney’s office Friday that they had sifted through about 16,000 photos during a forensic examination of his phone and information from the cloud, but that they did not have the photo. Defense lawyer Jim Martin said prosecutors told him they were no longer looking for the photo.

Gov. Eric Greitens’ mugshot

Ronald Sullivan, the prosecution’s special prosecutor did not dispute the claim when asked for a response by St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison.

Greitens is accused of allegedly taking a picture of a bound and partially nude woman with whom he was having an affair with at the time and threatened to blackmail her if she made the affair public.

Day three of jury selection for the trial based around that accusation continued moving slowly Monday with 10 more prospective jurors moving on to the final day of questioning.

About 80 more jurors were brought in with several struck for cause or hardship, bringing the list of potential jurors to 43. As of 4:20 p.m., they had 49 more jurors to go through with hopes of getting at least 12-16 more into the next round of questioning.

Both the prosecution and defense will question the final slate of jurors. Each side gets to strike six people they feel should not serve on the jury during the final day of questioning Tuesday before that list is brought down to 12 jurors and three alternates.

Opening statements at Greitens’ trial are expected to begin Wednesday, barring any other delays.

The jury selection process originally began on Thursday when 17 people moved on to the next stage of questioning.

A total of 80 prospective jurors — 40 in the morning and 40 in the afternoon — filled out questionnaires about their exposure to pre-trial publicity, but only 40 were actually subject to questioning in a slow going process by both parties’ attorney’s, as well as Burlison.

Civil Courts Building in downtown St. Louis.

Burlison excused six people during the morning session due to hardships that would prevent them from serving on the jury throughout the trial, which is expected to last through all of next week.

Ten more prospective jurors were struck by Burlison because they had formed negative opinions of Greitens. One questioned Greitens’ honesty and another said they knew about talks regarding his possible impeachment in Jefferson City. One man proclaimed Greitens was guilty in the courtroom and implied he wasn’t in jail because of his wealth.

During the second day of jury selection, 16 additional jurors advanced to the final day of questioning while another 25 were struck.

In depositions, the woman, only identified as K.S., has said Greitens threatened to release the photo if she spoke of the affair. She later said the governor claimed he deleted the photo.

Burlison ruled last week he would allow her testimony in court after the defense tried to block it. The judge also ruled that K.S.’ name can be used during the trial.

Greitens faces another criminal charge regarding a count of tampering with computer data: modifying or destroying, disclosing or accessing for an incident that took place on around about April 22, 2015, in relation to The Mission Continues — the charity he started. The trial date for his second felony charge has not been set.

The Missouri House of Representatives and Senate also is set to hold a monthlong special session to consider impeaching Greitens.

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