DANVILLE — Jury selection began Monday in the murder trial of Steven Hall, the Harrodsburg doctor accused of running over his wife with a pontoon boat.
At least 21 potential jurors were excused from service during a preliminary round of questioning by the judge and attorneys for the prosecution and defense. Most people were excused because they knew a witness or because their work or pending medical procedures would conflict with the trial's anticipated 10-day schedule.
Hall, 48, and his wife, Isabel Hall, 49, were celebrating their 21st anniversary with a boating excursion last year on Herrington Lake in Boyle County when they got into a fight and a struggle, Hall told police, and he pushed his wife into the water. Hall said he struck his wife by accident with the boat, but state police said five witnesses told them the doctor gunned the pontoon in her direction, according to court records.
More than 70 potential jurors were brought in to Boyle Circuit Court for group questioning. On Monday, that was whittled down to 45 jurors who were questioned individually about whether they could impartially listen and weigh the evidence despite what they might have heard or seen in the media.
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Another group of more than 40 was brought in Monday afternoon, but they were allowed to leave. That group might be called back Tuesday for possible questioning by the judge and attorneys.
If convicted, Hall would face a sentence of 20 years to life. The death penalty is not a sentencing option because the death did not occur during the commission of another alleged crime, such as robbery or rape.
Hall rejected a plea offer, the terms of which were not disclosed, in May.