UTICA, N.Y. -- A group of jurors have been selected to serve in the Tasheonia Hills murder trial.
Hills, 26, is accused of stabbing her mother, 44-year-old Irene Williams, to death at the Humphrey Gardens Apartments on February 6 2017. Hills is charged with second degree murder and fourth degree criminal possession of a weapon.
Sixty-five prospective jurors were called to Oneida County Court on Monday. Prospective jurors were asked questions by judge Robert Bauer privately in the courtroom. Then prospective jurors were questioned further about their backgrounds. They were asked if they or an immediate family member was involved in law enforcement, if they had a background in law or if they have ever served on a jury before.
Joshua Bauer, an Oneida County assistant district attorney, asked prospective jurors if they have or witnessed someone using marijuana and the side effects they noticed. They were also asked how they felt about a diagnosis from a medical professional. The prosecution asked if they would ever question a doctor's diagnosis.
The prosecution also told prospective jurors that words matter especially in the court of law. Joshua Bauer said the word insanity will be mentioned a lot in this trial. But he said if something is bizarre or strange that's not the same as the meaning of insane or insanity.
Hills' attorney, Cory Zennamo, asked if prospective jurors if they could handle a murder case where someone might not be able to be found guilty, because of that person's mental capacity or mental illness. The defense also asked if they could handle "very graphic photos."
The defense and the prosecution decided on 12 jurors with three alternates.
Both the defense and prosecution will make opening statement at 10 a.m. Tuesday.