Attorneys arguing the first-degree murder case of a retired Johnson County official accused of fatally shooting his companion in Riverside last year have selected a 14-person jury.
The jury consists of nine women and five men. Jury selection wrapped up around 11:30 a.m., and dozens of prospective jurors who were not chosen were allowed to leave the courthouse. Opening statements are expected to begin about 1:30 p.m.
Thomas Lee Hansen, 72, of Riverside, is being tried on a first-degree murder charge in connection with the death of Sharon Gerot, 54, on May 1, 2011.
Hansen is accused of shooting Gerot with a semi-automatic handgun while she was riding a lawn mower in their backyard, according to a criminal complaint. Investigators said the pair had been living together for years and had been arguing earlier that day, according to court records.
The couple was planning to go work at Yellowstone National Park, investigators reported.
Hansen retired as Johnson County’s emergency management coordinator in 2007. He worked for the Iowa City Fire Department before that.
Following opening statements today, prosecutors are expected to call their first witnesses.