CONCORD, NH – A jury has been chosen to decide the fate of Logan Clegg, charged with killing Djeswende and Stephen Reid, of Concord; the prosecution and defense are scheduled to make opening statements Tuesday morning.
Nine women and seven men were named to the jury after a long day of selection from a pool that numbered more than 150.
The amount of media attention the case has received made the process of choosing a fair and impartial jury more complicated than for other cases, Judge John Kissinger said Monday.
Clegg is charged with two counts of second-degree murder for “knowingly causing the death” of each of the Reids, two alternative second-degree murder charges for “recklessly causing” their deaths, three counts of falsifying physical evidence and one count of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. His indictment on those charges was announced Jan. 19. In May, an additional count of count of falsifying physical evidence (a Class B felony) was added.
Kissinger told the jurors they can tell people they’re on a jury, but cautioned them against discussing the case with each other, or with family and friends. He instructed them not to watch or read news accounts, social media posts, or any other information about the case.
“It is essential that you base a verdict only on the evidence,” he told them.
Clegg, 27, was dressed in a blue shirt and black pants, rather than the orange jail jumpsuit he’s worn to multiple hearings in the same courtroom over the past 10 months.
Attorneys for both sides indicated how the case will be presented during the voir dire portion of the selection to the final 24 members of the jury pool, which was questioned as a group with attorneys using a seating chart to call out potential jurors by name for answers, or their thoughts on, or definitions of, concepts that may be related to the case.
Assistant Attorney General Meghan Hagaman quizzed the group about their knowledge of circumstantial vs. direct evidence, and whether they understood what “beyond a reasonable doubt” means.
She also asked if they had to have video or a recording of the crime, eyewitness evidence, or a confession, for the state to meet its burden of reasonable doubt.
She also asked if they could accept that there may be some questions that aren’t relative to finding the person guilty that won’t be answered.
“Does everyone feel that in everyday life, in normal circumstances” that we always know why people do what they do? she asked. “Can you accept that the state doesn’t have to prove a motive?”
The group indicated through nods and raising hands that they could weigh the evidence within the parameters she laid out.
Defense attorney Mariana Dominquez asked jurors about what they thought impartiality meant. “Several of you came up to the bench and said you learned about [the case] in the media,” she said. “We asked if you could set that aside and you said yes.”
She asked if they felt the media was always accurate, unbiased and reported the complete story. Most of the jurors indicated that they did not.
She also asked whether they thought that the police could get it wrong when they arrest someone, if they believe wrongful convictions happen and if they can understand why a defendant – even an innocent one – may not want to testify. Most indicated positive responses to those questions.
She asked about privacy, and if they’d be comfortable letting the police into their home to search it, even if they had no criminal activity to hide.
She also asked if they could vote to acquit Clegg if the prosecution doesn’t prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, even if they had sympathy for the family of the victims.
She looked surprised when she asked the group if any of them were “true crime junkies” or listened to true crime podcasts and none indicated that they did.
The two sides will get the chance to lay out the elements of their cases in detail in their opening statements, which begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Kissinger has allowed extra time for the statements because of the complexities of the case.
In the afternoon, the jurors, attorneys and Clegg will visit several sites around Concord relevant to the case. Some of the view will involve walking on trails for up to two miles, Kissinger said. He cautioned jurors to wear comfortable shoes and dress for the unseasonably hot weather that’s expected.
Witness testimony is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
Clegg has been held in Merrimack County Jail since he was extradited to New Hampshire following his arrest in South Burlington, Vermont, Oct. 12. The state alleges that he shot the Reids as they were on a walk in the Broken Ground Trail System off Loudon Road, near their apartment, on April 18, 2022.