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Forum staff reports, Published September 23 2011

Wilkin County murder trial jury up to eight members Friday

BRECKENRIDGE, Minn. – Eight jurors have been seated in the murder trial for Jeffrey Allen Silvernail, a court official said Friday.

Attorneys have since Wednesday been questioning candidates to sit on the jury one-by-one, seeking to seat a panel to hear the murder case in which Silvernail is accused of shooting his estranged girlfriend, Lori Roberts.

Silvernail faces both first and second-degree murder charges. If convicted on the first-degree charge, Silvernail will face a mandatory prison term of life without chance for parole.

Jury selection, which has been held longer in the day than the usual closing time of 4:30 p.m., will continue on Monday. Twelve jurors will decide the verdict, but the number of alternates who will also hear the case has not been determined.

The trial in Wilkin County District Court is slated to last for two more weeks.