The trial of Anthony Baye, began with jury selection Monday in Hampden Superior Court in Springfield. Baye is accused of setting a series of fires in Northampton, Massachusetts, one which killed two people.
Well over 200 potential jurors were called by Judge Constance Sweeney, but only five were seated. Sweeney ruled several months ago the jury for this case will be selected from Hampden county, and last week chose to move the entire trial to Springfield, because of the case’s notoriety in Hampshire county. But even in Springfield, selecting an impartial jury for this high profile trial that could last several weeks is slow going.
Sweeney also ruled that Baye will only be tried for a group of fires set on the night of December 27th, 2009. He was previously indicted on arson charges from 2007 and earlier in 2009, but those incidents will not be considered at this trial. Sweeney also dismissed a defense motion to drop all charges against Baye. Jury selection resumes Tuesday.
For an extended preview of the Baye trial, click here.