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For Trevor Milton Trial Jury Is Picked, 1 Telsa Linked Prospect Excused, Nikola News Sidebars

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell book
BBC - Honduras - CIA Trial book - NY Mag

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 12 – The awaited trial of Nikola founder Trevor Milton for wire and securities fraud began, in its way, on September 12 with jury selection.   Inner City Press was there. Thread:

Now in Courtroom 318 of 40 Foley Square, the lawyer mill around, waiting for pool of prospective jurors. Standing at railing is Milton, whispering with two...

 By noon, we're only on the 2d prospective juror, who says he's read an article about Nikola. Judge Ramos says, Why don't you come up and we'll speak to you at sidebar (non-public). Milton's lawyers go up; he remains at defense table. 

Long sidebar is over. Mukasey returns to defense table and whispers with Trevor. No decision is reached - Judge Ramos moves on to prospective juror #3, who says she works at Capital One Bank where she was investigated, questioned 30 times 

Capital One prospective juror clarifies that she is a teller who got robbed and so was questioned 30 times in 2020, height of COVID bank robbery apparently.  

Judge Ramos: Could you be fair? Prospective Juror 3: Yes. This could take a while... 

Prospective Juror 4 says she can't read the small type of the jury questionnaire. Judge Ramos asks someone to go up and get his extra pair of magnifying / reading glasses.

 Prospective Juror 5 has read about Nikola - another long sidebar begins.

Past 3 pm, Prospective Jurors 25 and 26 have are dismissed, the latter for overly pro-police sentiment. Yet more whispered sidebars, Marc Mukasey and Torrey Young go up, Milton at defense table looking around the courtroom.

Update: A prospective juror with a relative who has accepted a job at Tesla is interviewed at sidebar - and dismissed.

Now questioning of prospective jurors gets more personal. There's  a 65 year old woman who lived in Mount Vernon, three brothers in the Army. Now a woman on the Upper West Side whose 24 year old son lives at home, "I don't know what he does."

 Milton is taking notes on the prospective jurors' answers Now a woman who lives in Yonkers,4 sons, one of whom is a truck driver. She likes church and The Price is Right.

 Next: 44 year old AP History teacher from Brewster NY. Likes "Sixties, Seventies channels

We're getting there. Last prospective juror, when asked about social media use, says she has Facebook but hasn't logged in for 3 years.

Now lawyers have 10 minutes for peremptory challenges. Milton is huddling with his lawyers.

It's done: sixteen jurors (12 "real" jurors, 4 alternates who might deliberate) have been selected. Story on Patreon with more soon

The case is US v. Milton, 21-cr-478 (Ramos)


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