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Jury Selection Underway, Opening Statements Set For Bloomington Murder Case

Kyle and Shannon
WGLT file photo
Kyle Brestan, left, is accused of stabbing 27-year-old Shannon Hastings more than 100 times. The victim was found in a west Bloomngton hotel room.

Opening statements are expected Tuesday in the murder trial of Kyle Brestan in the 2017 stabbing death of a Washington woman.

The Bloomington man is accused of stabbing 27-year-old Shannon Hastings more than 100 times. The victim was found in a west Bloomington hotel room.

Brestan, 35, wore a gray suit and white shirt as he sat with defense lawyer Stephanie Wong during jury selection Monday. He wrote notes on a legal pad.

The trial could last two weeks, Judge Casey Costigan told potential jurors. The witness list includes about 70 people, many of them Bloomington police officers.

Among several jurors excused Monday morning was a man who recognized Brestan as an employee of a local auto dealership where the would-be juror purchased a car in 2016.

Another man was dismissed from jury service after he made a remark to Rigdon as he left the courtroom during a break.

“I believe in CSI,” the man told the prosecutor in a tone loud enough for others to hear.

The potential juror was brought back into the courtroom by Costigan for follow-up questions about the reference to the crime show.

“I think DNA is more honest than people,” the man said in response to a question from Rigdon.

Wong opposed a request by Rigdon to release the juror for cause based on the remark. The defense lawyer earlier asked all jury candidates about their knowledge of DNA technology.

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Edith began her career as a reporter with The DeWitt County Observer, a weekly newspaper in Clinton. From 2007 to June 2019, Edith covered crime and legal issues for The Pantagraph, a daily newspaper in Bloomington, Illinois. She previously worked as a correspondent for The Pantagraph covering courts and local government issues in central Illinois.
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