The second of four Pittsfield defendants – Justin A. King – charged with gang raping a University of Massachusetts student is scheduled to start today following a last-minute slate of motions argued in Hampshire Superior Court last week.
Defendant Emmanuel Bile was tried and convicted in March and has begun serving an 8- to 10-year state prison sentence. Adam T. Liccardi and Caleb Womack are due to be tried in that order after King.
King, 21, Liccardi, 20, Bile, 21, and Caleb Womack, 20, were each charged with raping the student in Pierpont Dormitory on Oct. 13, 2012, according to masslive.com.
The judge in the King rape trial told the lawyers for both sides Friday that she will question the jury. On Friday, Hampshire Superior Court Judge Bertha D. Josephson told defense lawyer Terrence Dunphy and prosecutor Jenifer Suhl that she would conduct a “voir dire” of the jurors as they are seated.
The additional questioning is made possible by an order of the Massachusetts Superior Court handed down in February. The ruling allows lawyers to gather more information from prospective jurors, but judges still have the discretion to question the jurors themselves during the enrolling of a jury, writes masslive.com.