PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Jury selection has begun in the death penalty trial of Ronald Robinson. He is accused in the shooting death of Penn Hills Police Officer Michael Crawshaw.
Out of a panel of 35 potential jurors, only seven indicated they had heard or read about the case.
Only two of the first 18 taken to the judge’s courtroom said they had moral problems with imposing the death penalty.
Judge Kevin Sasinoski and attorneys for both sides met with jurors individually Monday morning for further questioning.
Robinson was also present during the questioning.
By the end of day one, two jurors had been selected.
The first juror accepted to serve is a female homemaker who had no problem with the death penalty; but when asked, responded that not all first-degree murder convictions require an automatic death sentence.
The first juror rejected said she would require a “beyond all doubt” standard in a death penalty case rather than the “beyond reasonable doubt” standard prescribed by law.
Tuesday, officials said that a total four jurors had been selected, including two women and two men.
Robinson is accused of shooting and killing Officer Crawshaw in December of 2009. He has been in jail since his arrest.
Earlier this month, the jury selection process was delayed when Robinson was rushed to the hospital after being found unresponsive in his cell.
The prosecutor told the judge that doctors reported whatever happened to Robinson was a “medical mystery” and he was given seizure medication.
They also said he was under the influence of marijuana, which is a contraband problem at the jail.
Robinson appeared to be having a seizure and was intubated because he couldn’t breathe on his own.
In October, Robinson’s trial was delayed when a key witness for the prosecution disappeared. Once U.S. Marshals found the witness, the presiding judge ordered him held in custody until trial.
Testimony could begin early next week.