Kirk Zimmerman listens to charges read against him for the alleged murder of his ex-wife, Pam, during a pre-trial hearing Monday, March 25, 2019 at the Law & Justice Center in Bloomington.

BLOOMINGTON — Ten men and two women were chosen Tuesday to serve as jurors in the Kirk Zimmerman murder trial.

The selection followed questioning of 42 people over two days. Work will continue Wednesday to choose four alternates for the trial expected to last four to six weeks.

The eight individuals selected Tuesday include a retired payroll clerk, two men who work in sales and a mother of five grown children. 

Before the lunch recess, Judge Scott Drazewski agreed to excuse six jurors for specific cause, including financial hardships, religious beliefs and an already-formed opinion that Zimmerman, 60, is guilty.

One young woman was excused after she said she was unable to judge another person's conduct.

"I try not to. If I can avoid it, I will," the woman said of the obligation to judge a person's guilt or innocence.

A retired Bloomington police officer who noted on his 28-page jury questionnaire that he knows 22 potential witnesses also was excused.

Each jury candidate is being interviewed individually in the courtroom by Drazewski, First Assistant State's Attorney Brad Rigdon and defense lawyer John Rogers.

Over the past two days, several people have been released after they admitted they could not ignore their opinion that the defendant likely was guilty.

Rogers delved deeper into comments on their prior knowledge, asking them to explain any outside influences or sources that may have helped shape an opinion.

"Are you open to the possibility that in 2019, a completely innocent person can be accused of a crime?" Zimmerman's lawyer asked several possible jurors. Each agreed that such a circumstance may occur.

The state and defense both used all seven of their challenges they were allotted to excuse jurors without stating cause.  

Opening statements in the trial are scheduled for Monday morning. More than 100 witnesses are expected to testify at the trial.

Gallery: A look back at the Kirk Zimmerman murder case

Contact Edith Brady-Lunny at (309) 820-3276. Follow her on Twitter: @pg_blunny

McLean County Courts Reporter

McLean County courts reporter for The Pantagraph.