Jury selection for the trial of a Sonora-area doctor accused of causing a triple-fatal accident on La Grange Road in October 2016 will begin Wednesday morning in the Tuolumne County Superior Court.
Dr. Danny Anderson, the defendant, appeared Tuesday morning for a trial-readiness conference with his attorney, Tom Johnson, of Sacramento, but without his wife, Diane Anderson, who is charged as an accessory.
Judge Donald Segerstrom previously ruled that the couple would be tried separately due to the inclusion in evidence of a potentially incriminating statement made by Danny Anderson in December 2016 to a CHP officer investigating the triple-fatal collision.
On Tuesday, the Tuolumne County Superior Court was devoid of the crowds and fanfare that characterized much of the pretrial process for more than a year since the Anderson’s pleaded not guilty to a number of felony charges on June 7, 2017.
Following a 30-minute closed-door conference with the respective attorneys, Segerstrom detailed the many-day process to pick a jury.
Segerstrom said 120 potential jurors will be called to the Tuolumne County Superior Court on Wednesday, with 60 people respectively called at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.
The court will hear hardship dismissal requests on Wednesday, and all the remaining jury candidates will have Thursday to complete a jury questionnaire compiled by Tuolumne County District Attorney Laura Krieg and Johnson.
On Friday, the jury candidates will return, and a total of 12 jurors and 6 alternates will be chosen.
If the jury selection is not complete by the end of day Friday, the process will continue on June 27. Segerstrom said the trial is expected to last 10 to 15 days and likely will be conducted on a Wednesday-through-Friday schedule.
Segerstrom also notified the court of his intention to strictly regulate public decorum.
Segerstrom said “no outbursts” would be tolerated.
“The court is not going to tolerate any public display of emotion,” he said.
Segerstrom also designated that one attorney from the prosecution or the defense would be responsible for examining or objecting to a witness.
Tuolumne County Deputy District Attorney Stephanie Novelli will join Krieg as second chair, and Johnson will be joined by an associate from his Sacramento law office, Kristy Horton.
Both Krieg and Johnson declined to comment on the upcoming trial.
Segerstrom privately reviewed daily field logs from CHP officers Joelle McChesney, Steve Greifer and Shawn Snyder on a request from the defense that the documents may contain disclosable information about the nature of the investigation into the Andersons.
Segerstrom, who referred to the documents as “somewhat difficult to understand” and filled with abbreviations and acronyms, granted the discovery request for the documents because they did not appear to contain privileged information.
In May, Segerstrom ruled that details surrounding a 2008 no-contest plea by McChesney to three counts of misdemeanor accessing a computer to alter, destroy or use data for a criminal purpose (following an arrest in Yolo County while she was stationed at the CHP Academy in West Sacramento in 2008) would be admissible in the trial.
The court also received business records from Rydell Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM in San Fernando, which were ordered to be distributed to the defense and prosecution.
The Andersons are accused of a misdemeanor charge of concealing evidence by selling an Acura MDX they owned when the accident occurred.
Danny Anderson has been charged with three felony counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence with enhancement charges of fleeing the scene, one count of hit-and-run resulting in death or serious injury of six people, one count of reckless driving causing specific injury or death for the three fatalities, and misdemeanors destroying or concealing evidence and obstructing a police investigation.