Jury Seated In Rare Death Penalty Trial
DETROIT – A 16-member jury was seated yesterday morning for the death penalty trial of a man who shot to death an armed guard who was refilling ATMs at Dearborn FCU almost five years ago.
Timothy O'Reilly, 36, is charged with murdering Norman "Anthony" Stephens during a Dec. 14, 2001, holdup of an armored truck at the credit union, now known as DFCU Financial CU. O’Reilly is one of five men charged in the early morning raid, which netted the robbers $205,000 cash. The gang is also believed to have hit a Detroit-area bank earlier for $175,000. Two of the others are also scheduled to be tried for the death penalty in the case.
If the jury convicts O'Reilly, a separate trial will follow in which jurors will hear evidence and will be asked to decide whether O'Reilly should be executed or sentenced to life in prison. The trial is expected to last all summer.
Michigan was the first state in the union to ban capital punishment, in 1847, but death can still be imposed in Michigan for federal capital crimes such as murder during a bank robbery.
U.S. District Judge Victoria A. Roberts warned jurors not to do online research, blog about the trial or post updates about the trial on Facebook or other social networking sites. She cited recent examples from other jurisdictions in which verdicts were overturned because of jurors' online activities.