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Jury Pool Expanding Amid Series Of Pretrial Motions In Mirkarimi Case

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Ross Mirkarimi

Ross Mirkarimi talks to reporters after a Family Court hearing in San Francisco, February 8, 2012. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – Attorneys met briefly with Judge Garrett Wong in San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi’s domestic violence trial Tuesday, shortly before a scheduled day of jury selection came to a quick end.

The judge announced that a new panel of 150 jurors will be brought in to the selection process Wednesday morning in an effort to widen the jury pool. Those potential jurors will fill out questionnaires before a planned day off from the trial Thursday.

Mirkarimi, 50, faces three misdemeanor charges of domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness. The case against Mirkarimi stemmed from an incident in which he allegedly grabbed and bruised wife Eliana Lopez’s arm during a heated argument at their home on New Year’s Eve.

Defense attorneys for Mirkarimi filed a change of venue motion Monday, but the defense has yet to respond to that request, so judge Wong allowed more time to discuss the issue.

Despite setbacks, the defense is still trying to get a video evidence featuring Lopez and neighbor Ivory Madison thrown out. Attorneys are now arguing that Lopez will likely decide not take the stand- by using her 5th Amendment protection – meaning she will not have an adequate chance to fully explain the content of the video and her conversations with Madison.

During another pretrial hearing Monday, ex-girlfriend Christina Flores testified about an alleged physical confrontation involving the San Francisco sheriff while the pair were dating in 2008. Wong decided to allow the testimony as evidence in the ongoing case.

Meanwhile, an appeals court still has to decide what to do about the previous contention that the evidence shouldn’t be allowed because attorney-client privilege may have been breached.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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