Jury selection begins for teens charged with felony murder - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Jury selection begins for teens charged with felony murder

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Courtesy: Elkhart County Sheriff's Department Courtesy: Elkhart County Sheriff's Department

Jury selection began Monday for three teens charged with felony murder following a home invasion.

In October of 2012, police say five people entered a home on Frances Avenue in Elkhart. The homeowner shot and killed 21-year-old Danzele Johnson. The four others were charged with Felony Murder. Under Indiana Law if a death happens while a crime is being committed anyone involved can be charged with murder. It's a law many of the potential jurors struggled with,  causing the selection process to go on well into the evening.

"It's been a very long day and I'm thankful actually that it has been because I don't want them just picking the first 12 that come up there you know, there are lives at stake here," says Tammy Adams, defendant Blake Layman's great aunt.

Layman, Anthony Sharp and Levi Sparks are being tried as adults in a joint trial.

During questioning, many potential jurors confessed to not understanding the law, or not agreeing with it. All things that made them question their ability to judge fairly.

Layman's mom appreciated the thoroughness, and says it gave her more time to soak in her son. "I just want to hug him. I haven't got to touch Blake since the day the incident happened, I've only seen him through a glass at the Elkhart County Jail. Oh the feeling of, I just want to touch him, I just want to hug him. I'll hug all three of them. It's hard to be that close, but so far away," says Angie Johnson.

One of the teens, 17-year-old Jose Quiroz, pleaded guilty to murder in December. He was sentenced to 45 years in prison. The trial for the remaining 3 will continue tomorrow.

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