CANTON, Ohio – The judge overseeing the trial of a former police officer accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend questioned prospective jurors Wednesday about their biases or familiarity with the case.
About 80 prospective jurors filled the courtroom in the case of Bobby Cutts Jr., who faces aggravated murder charges in the death of Jessie Marie Davis. All prospective jurors filled out questionnaires earlier and more than 20 were dismissed without explanation Wednesday based on a review of their answers by the judge and attorneys in the case.
Cutts, 30, who resigned as a Canton patrolman, has pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder, aggravated burglary and other charges. He could face the death penalty if convicted.
Cutts dressed in shirt, tie and jacket, rubbed his face and held his head in his left hand as the judge read the indictment for the jurors.
The disappearance of Davis last June drew national attention as thousands searched for her. Her body, with a nearly full-term fetus, was found more than a week later about 25 miles away from her northeast Ohio home in a remote area of a park.
Stark County Common Pleas Court Judge Charles Brown Jr. closely questioned prospective jurors, asking them if they are personally familiar with the case — none was — and if they could give Cutts the presumption of innocence.
The judge said some prospective jurors would be asked to return next week. Opening statements are set for Feb. 4.