- Associated Press - Friday, August 28, 2015

URBANA, Ill. (AP) - A central Illinois woman accused of killing her boyfriend’s pit bull puppy has agreed to a jury of six people instead of 12.

On Thursday, Kinny Redmon of Champaign waived her right to a 12-person jury, marking the first time that’s happened in Champaign County courthouse procedural history, The (Champaign) News-Gazette (http://bit.ly/1hJsD1Z ) reported.

Redmon is accused of putting the puppy in a 300-degree oven in her boyfriend’s apartment on June 4 because she was upset with him. She then called her boyfriend to inform him of the deed and he returned home from work to find the dead puppy, police said.

Redmon, 24, is charged with animal torture and aggravated cruel treatment to a companion animal.

A judge announced last week that Champaign County would begin using six-person juries as a cost-saving measure. But the decision to use a smaller jury is up to the defendant and the state’s attorney has no say in the matter.

Assistant public defender Stephanie Corum declined to comment on the decision, saying it would be inappropriate to discuss on the pending case against her client.

Corum’s boss, public defender Randy Rosenbaum, also declined to comment on Redmon’s case, but he spoke generally about deciding to use a smaller jury.

“It’s not to save money. It has to be good for a case,” Rosenbaum said.

“When you have cases that are high profile or where there are sensitive issues perhaps, it may be difficult to find 12 people who don’t have an opinion but you may be able to find six who don’t have a strong opinion or haven’t heard about it,” he said.

Redmon’s trial is set to begin Sept. 15 and last at least two days.

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Information from: The News-Gazette, http://www.news-gazette.com

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