- Associated Press - Monday, September 21, 2015

SEATTLE (AP) - About a dozen prospective jurors were dismissed Monday from the federal trial of the father of the teenager who fatally shot four friends at a high school because of their connection with Marysville-Pilchuck High School or because they have strong opinions about firearms.

Raymond Lee Fryberg Jr. is charged with illegally owning the gun his son, Jaylen, used in the shooting at the high school cafeteria on Oct. 24.

Prosecutors say he was the subject of a 2002 domestic violence restraining order, which made him prohibited from having guns. The six-count indictment said he illegally owned nine guns. Fryberg doesn’t face any charges related to the school shooting.

After U.S. District Court Judge James Robart and lawyers on both sides questioned about two dozen jurors individually, almost half were sent home based on their answers.

One woman was excused because she works for the Marysville School District, while another was let go because her child is a student at the high school.

The judge released a woman who said she believed that if Fryberg didn’t own a gun, the high school shooting wouldn’t have happened in the first place. He dismissed a man from jury service because he said he didn’t think anyone should own a gun.

The jury-selection process took all day and opening statements were scheduled for Tuesday. The trial will continue Wednesday, skip Thursday and Friday and start again next Monday, with the case going to the jury on Tuesday, Robart said.

Prior the jury selection process, Robart ruled on several previously filed motions.

He denied a motion from Fryberg lawyer John Henry Browne that sought to exclude certain information that a tribal police officer wrote on a form when he allegedly served Fryberg with the restraining order. Browne has claimed that Fryberg was never served and argued in the motion that the information should be included because the officer is dead and he can’t be questioned at trial.

Robart said the right to confrontation doesn’t apply because the officer’s report is admissible as a public record.

The judge also denied a motion to exclude an interview Fryberg gave to two law enforcement agents, arguing he made the statements voluntarily. But Robart told the prosecutors to black out any part of the transcript that mentions Fryberg’s son or the high school shooting.

Robart granted the prosecutor’s request to prohibit Fryberg from claiming that he didn’t know that he was prohibited from having guns because of the restraining order.


Follow Martha Bellisle at https://twitter.com/marthabellisle

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