Jury selection begins for 2003 murder case - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Jury selection begins for 2003 murder case


PORTAGE COUNTY (WAOW) -- On Monday morning, finding a spot to park outside the Portage County Courthouse was a near impossible feat as about a hundred people filed in to be considered as potential jurors in Michael Haydon's case. Haydon faces charges in Portage County for murdering a truck driver in 2003.

The judge told the potential jurors they would select 15 of them: 12 plus 3 alternates.

Members of the jury would come out of Portage County, the same area where semi truck driver, Pat Zemke, was killed about eight years ago, while he was sleeping in the cab of his semi on the DB exit of Highway 39.

The judge asked jury candidates questions about their previous knowledge of Haydon and the case in general. The sexual assault case he's serving time for will come up during this murder trial. Potential jurors also answered questions about whether they, or someone close to them, had been involved in situations involving sexual assault or domestic violence.

Another question posed for jury candidates: whether they'd heard about the possibility of DNA evidence involving dog hair and whether they could still reach a decision about Haydon's innocence or guilt without that evidence.

A key piece of evidence in Haydon's sex assault conviction that will likely come up in the murder case is a dog hair belonging to his ex-girlfriend's pet-found at the scene.

The district attorney supported potential jurors who brought life experience to the jury box, while Haydon's attorney's searched for candidates who could be fully objective about the case.

This trial is expected to last at least three weeks. More than 60 potential witnesses could take the stand. Haydon's trial is slated to begin Tuesday morning.

Haydon is already serving 25-years for sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend a day before Patrick Zemke was shot to death while sleeping in the cab of his semi. Police said Haydon believed the two were having an affair.

Online Reporter: Anna Carrera

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