Jury impaneled in the Liberty Street murder case, testimony begins today
Jurors have been selected in the case of Richard D. Hanes, who is charged in the bludgeoning death of Raymond L. Morgan, 47, of Batavia.
After two days of questioning prospective jurors, defense attorney Frederick Rarick and District Attorney Lawrence Friedman selected a jury composed of eight women, four men and six alternates who swore to serve as unbiased fact-finders in the case.
Hanes, a 37-year-old former Holley resident, is facing a second-degree murder charge after allegedly beating Morgan beyond recognition in his 111 Liberty St., Batavia, apartment last July.
Morgan was pronounced dead when police arrived at the scene. Morgan's cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head. Batavia PD officers and detectives are expected to testify to their investigation in the coming days of testimony.
Friedman repeatedly asked juror candidates yesterday whether the use and sale of illegal drugs would affect their fairness since Morgan had a previous conviction for criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Rarick urged potential jurors to admit whether graphic testimony and images of the blood-covered crime scene would cause them to be impartial. Judge Charles Zambito excused a few juror candidates when they said that the forensic evidence may be too overwhelming.
The jury will now have the opportunity to listen as attorneys deliver their opening statements and question witnesses at 9:30 a.m. today in Genesee County Court. The first day of testimony coincides with the anniversary of Morgan’s death.