YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Jury selection in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court in the second trial of a man accused of the 2009 murder of a missing teenager has been delayed because a potential juror told other jurors he is racist and doesn’t have to serve.
The comments came as jurors were summoned to be selected to hear the case against Robert Moore, 52, who is accused of killing Glenna Jean White, 17, in June 2009.
Jury selection will now be Oct. 10 before Judge Maureen Sweeney when a new pool of jurors will be summoned to the courthouse.
Assistant Prosecutor Mike Yacovone said the man told a female juror as about 50 potential jurors were waiting to be called that he had been convicted of a felony before, which would disqualify him from serving.
The man also told the woman he is a racist. After the potential jurors were called to the courtroom and were seated, he repeated the same comments to Judge Sweeney’s bailiff in front of other jurors, saying he does not want to serve on a jury.
That man and the woman he spoke to earlier then met privately with the attorneys in the case and the judge. It was then decided to start over with a new jury to ensure none of the other members of the jury pool were tainted by the man’s remarks.
Technically, the case is now officially on trial but the court is in recess while it awaits jury selection from the new pool that will be summoned next week.
This is the second time Moore has gone on trial for the murder of Glenna Jean White.
A mistrial was declared by Judge Maureen Sweeney in May 2022 after jurors failed to reach a verdict.
Moore was indicted in December 2021 by a grand jury after new evidence was found after the case was reopened in 2017 by the Portage County Drug Task Force.
White was last seen alive on June 2, 2009, at an Alliance home where she had been drinking with several people, including Moore. Prosecutors said White claimed Moore tried to rape her and Moore angrily took her home. That was the last time White was seen alive. Her body has never been found.
When Moore returned, he was covered in mud and blood. A witness testified Moore claimed he was stopped at a stop sign in front of a bar when White jumped out of the car and then three men from the bar jumped him and beat him up.
His previous defense attorney objected several times to allowing prosecutors to tell jurors about that case, saying it would prejudice juries against his client, but Judge Sweeney overruled each objection.
Moore turned down a plea bargain in August that would have called for him to serve less than the minimum 15-year sentence if he was convicted of murder. He said he would not plead guilty because he did not kill White.