Police & Courts

Half of jurors selected in Hancock County murder trial

Posted: Sep. 11, 2018 10:00 am

CARTHAGE, Ill. -- Jury selection started Monday in the trial of Antonio Sanchez, our news-gathering partners at WGEM reported. The teen is accused of shooting 19-year-old Maddie Finch to death at a New Year's Eve party at her home in La Harpe.

Attorneys are looking to fill 16 spots -- 12 jurors and four alternates.

Sanchez is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated battery in the shooting death of Finch, who was a freshman at Illinois State University. He pleaded not guilty to the charges April 17.

WGEM reported that both the prosecution and defense asked questions about topics involved in the case, including alcohol, firearms, and marijuana and personal relationships with any of the witnesses set to testify.

Eight jurors were selected: five women and three men.

While defense attorney Drew Schnack thought this would be a long process, Schnack told WGEM he is happy with how fast things are moving.

"I was surprised we didn't have more people who have heard about this through social media," Schnack said. "I didn't expect that, and we were afraid of it. We also didn't have issues with farmers, and we didn't have any of that. So far, it's going fine."

Prosecutors declined to speak on the case. Jury selection continued 9 a.m. Tuesday, with eight more to be selected.

WGEM said the judge believes opening arguments will begin Wednesday morning.

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