Karl Karlsen

Karl Karlsen

A jury of seven women and five men was seated in Calaveras County Superior Court Friday morning in the trial of Karl Karlsen, who is accused of killing his wife in a house fire 29 years ago and collecting a $200,000 life insurance policy in her name.

Opening arguments are expected to begin on Tuesday. 

The jury selection process on Friday was a marked contrast to the slough of the previous two days, which saw more than 140 prospects whittled down to the final 12 jurors and four alternates who were sworn in before 11 a.m.

The jurors appear to be a diverse cross section of county, with some retirees, an operator at a wastewater treatment plant, a compliance specialist with PG&E, a student, a mechanical engineer, an employee with the Calaveras County Office of Education and one taking time off from disaster relief in the earthquake-ravaged town of Ridgecrest.

There are two male and two female alternates. One is a retired mechanical engineer, one has a degree in theater and another is an employee with the Tuolumne County Superior Court.

To read about the full court proceedings Friday see the Saturday Union Democrat. 

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