Juror questioning underway in death penalty trial

First Posted: 2/4/2015

LIMA — Day two of jury selection was underway Wednesday in the death penalty trial of a man accused of killing two people with attorneys questioning people one on one.

Each potential juror was questioned by the judge, the prosecution and the legal team representing Hager Church. About a dozen people were questioned with many more to go to assemble a pool to pick a final jury.

Judge Jeffrey Reed of Allen County Common Pleas Court told people he wanted to have a jury this week but it’s possible the selection process would continue into next week. The trial is expected to last three weeks.

Church, 30, is charged with two counts of aggravated murder and one count of aggravated arson in the June 14, 2009, house fire that killed Massie “Tina” Flint, 45, and her boyfriend, Rex Hall, 54. The fire was at a house at 262 S. Pine St.

Potential jurors were asked whether they could decide the case only by considering evidence and the law. They were asked how much they knew about the case from outside sources and their view on the death penalty.

Church’s attorneys asked whether there were circumstances, such as a bad childhood, that would be a reason to not give someone the death penalty.

Church is serving a life sentence with no chance for parole for a separate killing in 2010. He was convicted of beating a woman to death inside her home for a few dollars and costume jewelry.

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