Jury selected for stabbing death trial in Dubuque - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Jury selected for stabbing death trial in Dubuque

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Jury selection for Michael Mayton's trial began Monday. Jury selection for Michael Mayton's trial began Monday.

DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- Monday afternoon the jury was selected for the Michael Mayton trial.

Both the defense and the prosecution got to ask the 36 potential jurors questions about their ability to fairly judge the case.

Dubuque County Attorney Ralph Potter asked potential jurors about their views on alcohol, since, he said, that will play a significant role in the trial.

He also asked whether the potential jurors have trouble making significant decisions, since this is a trial involving a serious crime. One potential juror asked, in response, whether Iowa carries the death penalty. Dubuque County District Court Judge Lawrence Fautsch answered by saying that the jury only decides the guilt or not of the defendant and not any sentence, but, no, Iowa does not carry the death penalty.

Potter asked whether any potential juror has a problem with graphic images or testimony, due to the nature of the alleged crimes.

The defense attorneys asked each of the potential jurors several questions, including whether she or he think it is fair for a person to defend his or her spouse, when threatened.

Since the jury is set, opening statements can begin once court reconvenes at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

Prosecutors charged Mayton in August 2009 with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of a man during a fight earlier that month in Dubuque.

Prosecutors say 40-year-old Mayton stabbed 38-year-old David Tate in the chest on Aug. 15. Mayton also is accused of stabbing 23-year-old Richard Schramm Jr.

Police say a group of people from Schramm's house attacked Mayton and his friends and that people were throwing beer bottles at each other and hitting one another other with snow shovels. The fight may have involved a dispute over loud music.

Lieutenant Scott Baxter of the Dubuque Police Department said in August this was the first homicide the department had seen in nearly two years.

"It was a shock," Baxter said. "We, of course, would've liked to keep that streak going as long as possible, but, unfortunately, it's been broken now."

Mayton's trial was set to begin next in March but was delayed until now. Mayton has pleaded not guilty.

Online Reporter Becca Habegger

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