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Two more jurors selected in Franco case

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Two more jurors selected in Franco case
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

WILLMAR -- Two more jurors were selected Tuesday morning in the trial of Olga Marina Franco Del Cid, 24, of Minneota, who is accused of causing the fatal Feb. 19 Cottonwood school bus crash.

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The jurors, both women, were added to the six jurors selected Monday. A total of nine potential jurors came before the court on Tuesday morning.

Thus far, a total of eight jurors -- only two of them men -- have been selected from 21 potential jurors to be questioned. According to court officials, the jury pool includes 100 Kandiyohi County residents.

Juror questioning continues this afternoon before Judge David W. Peterson at the Kandiyohi County Courthouse. Lyon County Attorney Rick Maes and defense attorney Manuel Guerrero are continuing to question jurors on their relationship to anyone in the case, their connection to law enforcement and emergency responders. Guerrero continues to question each potential juror on whether or not his client's immigration status, or the fact that she lied to law enforce-ment about her name, has a bearing on their ability to be impartial in the case.

The Lyon County trial is being conducted in Willmar, based on a change of venue ordered by Peterson. The judge has also imposed a gag order on all parties in the case.

Franco faces four charges of criminal vehicular homicide for the Feb. 19 deaths of four Lake-view School students: Jesse Javens, 13; his brother, Hunter Javens, 9; Emilee Olson, 9; and Reed Stevens, 12. Sixteen other children, who ranged in age from 4 to 15 years old, and another driver whose vehicle was struck by the bus, were injured in the crash. Franco is accused of 17 charges of criminal vehicular injury.

According to court and State Patrol documents, the bus was southbound on state Highway 23 around 3:45 p.m. Feb. 19 when it was struck by a minivan allegedly driven by Franco. The bus rolled onto its side in the roadway. The crash happened at the intersection with Lyon County Road 24 just south of Cottonwood.

Franco, who is also known as Alianiss Nunes Morales, is also charged with a gross misde-meanor for giving a false name to a peace officer and misdemeanor charges for driving without a license and for not stopping at a stop sign.

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