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Jury selection hits 11 in Fairbanks case

CROOKSTON - Eleven jurors have been picked so far to hear the murder case against Thomas Fairbanks, nearing the needed 15, including three alternates. Two men were chosen Thursday after long interviews in court, making the panel so far four women and seven men from Polk County after nine days of selection.

Fairbanks, charged with murder in the 2009 shooting of Mahnomen County Deputy Christopher Dewey, attends the open court interviews by the judge and an attorney from each side. More than 60 have been interviewed.

Initially, Minnesota District Judge Jeff Remick said he wanted four alternates for a 12-person jury because the trial is expected to take three weeks or more. But more recently, as the selection process has gone slower than hoped, Remick has said three alternates may be enough in order to get the actual trial underway.

Jury selection resumes Friday.