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After three days of questioning potential jurors in the murder trial of John Evander Couey, a Florida judge halted the procedure and dismissed the remaining jurors, because he said an impartial panel could not be found in Lake County. Judge Ric Howard said the trial for the kidnapping and murder of Jessica Lunsford would have to be moved further away from Citrus County, where the nine-year-old was abducted, raped and killed.

During questioning of potential jurors in Lake County, north of Orlando, it became apparent that most of them had heard about Couey's confession, which Judge Howard ruled could not be used as evidence during the trial.

"We canít pick a jury in Lake County," Judge Howard said, citing the overwhelming publicity the case had received.

Couey (pictured in a police mug shot) is accused of taking Jessica Lunsford from her grandmother's home in Homosassa, taking her to his sister mobile home about 150 yard away, raping her, keeping her in a closet, then putting her into plastic garbage bags and burying her alive in the back yard.

See Also:
Judge Moves Trial in Killing of 9-Year-Old Girl

The Jessica Lunsford Case
The Jessica Marie Lunsford Foundation

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