JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — (The video above is from a previous report)
Jury selection began Monday in the murder trial for Kimberly Kessler, the woman accused of killing her co-worker in 2018.
Kessler is charged with murder in the disappearance of Nassau County mother and hairstylist Joleen Cummings. Cummings' body has never been found.
Leading up to the trial, Kessler's mental health has been an issue since her arrest. Many factors have played into this including a hunger strike, the alleged spreading and throwing of feces, screaming and multiple outbursts in court.
After testimony from multiple correctional officers, the judge deemed Kessler competent to stand trial. Kessler has pleaded not guilty. Jury selection is expected to last one week and the trial is scheduled to start on Dec. 6.
Ahead of the trial, the court sent out 600 juror summonses and has pre-qualified about 300 people. Attorneys will begin vetting jurors with four groups of 30 each day at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
The judge wants to get 60 potential jurors in place to begin phase two of jury selection (strikes). If they don’t have enough at the end of the first two days, they will begin again Wednesday morning with the next two groups of 30.
Court will start at 8:30 a.m. each day and go until 5:30 p.m.
*Time codes below are approximations and may not be exact.
6:00 p.m. 53 potential jurors have been selected to move to next phase of jury selection. There will need to be 90 jurors selected before jury selection can move to its next phase.
1:40 p.m.: Judge Daniel says Kessler can participate at any time she wishes, and to let the bailiff know if she would like to return to the courtroom. This is on the condition that she is not disruptive.
"Ms. Kessler, if at any point in time you wish to participate in the proceedings, all you have to do is let the bailiff know."
11:18 a.m.: Judge dismisses a potential juror who appears sick. Judge: "Are you contagious?" Man: "Not that I know of." Another juror was dismissed earlier too.
10:33 a.m.: Judge strikes another juror who says she can’t be fair
8:45 a.m.: After being wheeled in, Kimberly Kessler is escorted out of court due to excessive yelling. She was in the courtroom for less than a minute.
8:35 a.m.: Jury selection begins
Cummings was last seen on Mother's Day weekend of 2018.