WILKES-BARRE — Jury selection began Monday in the retrial for Melissa Ann Scholl, a Wilkes-Barre Township mother who police say tried asphyxiate herself and her two children.
The retrial comes after Scholl’s previous trial in June ended in a mistrial, with a hung jury being unable to agree on her guilt.
Prosecutors say that, in December 2015, Scholl parked her car at the Williams Bus Line on Blackman Street in Wilkes-Barre Township, and strung a garden house from the tailpipe to a window of the car, inside of which were her two young children, then 5 and 7.
Scholl’s attorneys, however, say that the action was a cry for help.
Jury selection began around 1:30 p.m. Monday, with Judge David W. Lupas adjourning around 4:45 p.m. without seating any jurors.
As was previously reported, the jury selections process is likely to come with additional scrutiny, as a juror in June’s trial appeared to have posted about the proceedings on social media.
Both First Assistant District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce and Scholl’s attorney, Larry Kansky, asked the pool of potential jurors a series of questions regarding their ability stay impartial, telling them to stand if they felt they would be unable to.
Of approximately 75 potential jurors, 29 stood when Sanguedolce asked if they would struggle to remain impartial in the face of descriptions of the crime allegedly committed by Scholl.
Meanwhile, 14 of the potential jurors stood when Kansky asked if they would have a problem if his client does not take the stand. Scholl did not testify on her own behalf in the June trial.
The jury selection process continues Monday morning, with Lupas telling the potential jurors to return by 9:15 a.m.
Scholl remains locked up in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility.