Jury selection begins in Isom murder trial

2012-11-26T18:28:00Z 2013-09-16T17:56:05Z Jury selection begins in Isom murder trialBy Susan Brown susan.brown@nwi.com, (219) 662-5325 nwitimes.com
November 26, 2012 6:28 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | At least two jurors were named by mid-afternoon Monday to serve in Lake County's only death penalty case.

Kevin Isom, 46, is charged in the Aug. 6, 2007, slayings of his wife, Cassandra, 40, and two stepchildren — Michael Moore, 16, and Ci'Andria Cole, 13 — in their apartment in Gary's Miller Beach neighborhood.

Isom faces three murder charges for which jurors are charged with recommending the death penalty or life without the possibility of parole should Isom be convicted.

Jurors may recommend neither penalty, at which point the presiding judge, Lake Criminal Court Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr., is free to impose a specific number of years. The standard range is between 45 and 65 years on each murder charge, which may be ordered to be served consecutively.

Isom also faces three attempted murder charges, which call for a sentence of between 20 and 50 years upon conviction.

Stefaniak welcomed each potential juror Monday with assurances there were no right or wrong answers during interviews currently expected to continue well into December or a jury is seated. The trial is slated to open Jan. 7. If Isom is convicted, the trial moves into a second phase to determine his punishment.

Jurors were queried on such matters as their understanding and support of the death penalty and any past incidents that may prevent acting fairly and impartially.

Some 450 jurors are expected to undergo individual interviews to seat 12 jurors and five alternate jurors.

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