ROCKLAND, Maine — Jury selection went into Friday evening in the trial of 37-year-old Arnold A. Diana, who is accused of strangling 47-year-old Katrina Windred in November 2010.
Jury selection began shortly after 9 a.m. in Knox County Superior Court and was not completed until 7:15 p.m. Twelve jurors and two alternates were selected.
Only one of the 115 potential jurors acknowledged during questioning in Superior Court that they knew Diana. Eight members of the jury pool raised their hands when asked if they knew Windred.
Justice Jeffrey Hjelm is presiding over the trial.
Opening statements are scheduled to start Monday and the trial is expected to take
up to eight days, the judge said during his meeting with the potential jurors.
Diana is charged with murder in connection with the death of the Friendship mother. In police reports filed in court, investigators said Diana admitted he strangled Windred after they had an argument in his apartment, where she had dropped off groceries for him just before Thanksgiving.
That confession, however, will not be heard by jurors. Justice Hjelm ruled in March that the confession could not be used because investigators continued to interrogate Diana after he said he wanted the questioning to end.
Windred died Nov. 20. Her body was found four days later wrapped in a blanket dumped alongside Thompson Meadow Road in Rockland.
Police claim the murder occurred at Diana’s home in the Thorndike apartments in downtown Rockland. The jury may be taken to the apartments during the trial to view the scene. The defense requested that jurors be allowed to view the Thorndike, which is located one block from the courthouse.
Diana, seated next to his attorney, Christopher MacLean, faced the jury pool during the Friday morning questioning of potential jurors.
Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese and Leane Zainea are the prosecutors for the trial.
Three jail guards and three court officers were in attendance during the initial jury selection.