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February 05, 2006

To the Kolb trial...

Be in Dixon for the next two weeks or so. Am contributing to a new D/A staff blog, Beyond Print. I'll post trial stuff here, too. Planning to have time to do some non-trial stuff as well.

Here's today's trial stuff. I'm also adding comments on a couple of strings below.


February 5th, 2006
Sunday night in Dixon

So I'm at the Reagan Hotel and Suites, near Dixon.

Home sweet home for the next couple of weeks, for me and several others of the gaggle of Quad-Citians here for the Sarah Kolb murder trial, version two.

Drove in this afternoon on The Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway. I think the Gipper'd feel even more honored if the state would privatize it. I'm sure he'd be confident his home town can provide a fair jury to a person in need of one.

I think so, in the Kolb case. Lee County's 35.000 residents, the jury pool, are pretty much beyond the reach of the Q-C media. Copies of the QCT and the D/A are pretty rare. It's fringe-y even for the TV people. The local paper, the Telegraph, hasn't made a big deal of the trial coming here. Chances are most people can say real honestly they haven't much more than heard of the case, and could take an open mind to the jury box.

That's what Judge James Teros was hoping for, when he OK'd defense attorney Dave Hoffman's request for a change of venue, out of Rock Island County, where the first trial last November ended in a hung jury. Forty-three people were interviewed before that jury was filled out. Ten of the 43 were sent home after they said they'd already decided Kolb was guilty, and that was before all that lurid testimony spilled into the Q-C media. Picking a jury in RICO would have taken a loooong time, the second time around.

Will find out, starting at 9 a.m. tomorrow, in the Lee County Courthouse, if we're far enough way from home to get done what needs done.

----

The cast is putting in its appearance. Saw RICO state's attorney Jeff Terronez checking in a couple of hours ago, along with some of his staff people. Brian Krans, the D/A's hotshot young cops `n courts reporter is here. So's Barb Ickes of the QCT. Saw Hoffman, dining on the chili and hotdogs they put out at the house sports bar.

The Reagan doesn't have a restaurant, and it's a couple of miles out west of Dixon, not all that convenient. But it's only $49.95 a night, an attractive number to the bean-counters at the RICO courthouse and the Q-C media places. Those guys would be glad if we all hit the sports bar handout every night, and wrapped a little up for lunch the next day.

Reagan's a nice enough place. Rooms and furnishing are decent; million or so channels on the TV, if anyone's watching. Biggest deal is a wireless internet connection that works just fine. Beyond that, not sure just when and how often I'll be able to post.

Time to go try the chili and hotdogs.



Posted by jcb at February 5, 2006 09:09 PM

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