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First day of Cooke polygamy lawsuit spent selecting a jury

Published January 28, 2014 5:16 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The first day of the Cooke trial is over and it was almost exclusively spent selecting a jury.

The 10-person jury includes six women and four men. The group was pulled from a pool of dozens of potential jurors and will have to decide if Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah, violated the civil rights of residents Ronald and Jinjer Cooke.

The trial is expected to last as long as eight weeks. If you need a refreshing on the major players in the case, check out this post from earlier today.

Other than selecting a jury, Tuesday was pretty slow; the only other things that happened were a series of legal housekeeping issues. However here are a couple of the highlights of the first day:

• United States District Court Judge James Teilborg is a fairly folksy, late-Jimmy Stewart kind of guy. He has a tendency to smile and put his hands back behind his head like he's very relaxed. He also made an analogy in which he compared a court issue to a stink bomb, and included Snapchat — sometimes infamously known as a teen sexting app — among the tools jurors can't use to find information about the case.

• When the jurors were asked if they knew anyone who belonged to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, one woman stood and revealed that her "hairdresser is Mormon." Teilborg explained the difference between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and FLDS church, but the comment reminded me of how much confusion there is outside of both churches over just what a "Mormon" is. And of course, that confusion also sometimes exists within the churches as well.

— Jim Dalrymple II

Twitter: @jimmycdii