Yulee, FL — Jury selection began Monday in the Kimberly Kessler murder trial.
Kessler is accused of killing her co-worker, Joleen Cummings, at the Nassau County hair salon where they both worked.
Judge James Daniel brought Kessler inside the courtroom Monday morning, giving her a chance to participate in jury selection.
But a few seconds after she was brought in in a wheelchair, she began to scream, “Jordan Beard is Joleen’s cousin and I refuse this assigned counsel.”
The judge removed her from the courtroom.
After that, potential jurors were brought in one by one and questioned.
“Can you set aside things you have seen in the news,” asked Judge Daniel.
During the first two and a half hours, twenty potential jurors were questioned about what, if anything, they knew about the case.
One woman said her hairdresser knew Joleen Cummings and was biased since she felt sympathetic to the victim’s family.
Another woman said she wrote stories for the media and had already formed an opinion about the case.
Kessler is accused of killing Cummings, a mother of three, more than three years ago.
Her body has never been found.
Investigators found blood in the salon and believe Kessler was the last person to see Cummings alive.
Right now, at least 300 potential jurors are learning if they will be selected to hear the case.
Opening statements are scheduled for next week.
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