DALLAS – The process took most of the day, but the jury in the Quinlyn Harden trial was selected on Tuesday.
Harden faces 30 sex-abuse related charges in four separate indictments. The four cases were consolidated in May. The case is being tried in Polk County Circuit Court in Dallas.
Jury selection began at 9 a.m. on Tuesday. The defense and prosecution attorneys asked potential jurors questions gauging their impartiality or whether they had events in their past– such as being a victim of a crime – that would influence how they viewed the case.
Several were excused due to past experiences and financial hardships.
One potential juror left during a break. Polk County Circuit Court Judge Monte Campbell warned the rest of the jury pool, which included 120 people, of the consequences of leaving before being excused.
“We lost a juror,” Campbell said. “That the first one I’ve lost in 10 years.”
He said that juror will have to give an explanation to fellow Polk County Circuit Court Judge Norm Hill.
Monte gave the jury its instructions in the afternoon. The instructions included not seeking outside information about the case and talking about it with friends or family until the conclusion of the trial. He warned them to not discuss the case with other jurors until deliberations begin.
“Your duty is to decide the facts from the evidence,” Campbell said.
The jury was excused for the day at 4 p.m. Opening statements and witness testimony began Wednesday morning.
Harden, of Independence, has been in custody at the Polk County Jail since March 16, 2018, when he was arrested on three counts of first-degree sex abuse involving a girl younger than 14.
Harden’s mother, Ceola Harden, owned and operated Stinky Feet Childcare in Independence, where most of the crimes are alleged to have happened.
This story will updated throughout the trial.