Walmart Hit-and-Run Trial Jury Seated
SAN ANGELO, TX -- Defense attorney Thomas Williams and prosecuting attorney Richard Villarreal agreed on a four man, eight woman jury Monday afternoon in the hit-and-run trial of James Olon Rosson.
After attorneys for both sides questioned potential jurors District Judge Ben Woodward recessed as eight people were questioned individually Monday afternoon. The jury pool reconvened at 3:30 p.m. and District Clerk Sheri Woodfin called the twelve jurors by name. The rest of the pool was released at 3:45 p.m. and Judge Woodward read the instructions to the twelve jurors.
Attorneys then gave their opening statements. Prosecutor Villarreal told jurors Rosson argued with Ernest Ortiz in the crosswalk at the new Walmart on S. Bryant Blvd. The argument escalated and Rosson hit Ortiz with his White GMC Yukon tossing him five or six feet. Rosson then got out of the Yukon and approached Ortiz. Ortiz’s wife yelled at Rosson, and he got back in his vehicle and left the scene.
Prosecutors say they will present evidence that Rosson first lied to police and told them his vehicle was stolen. Then upon questioning and seeing video evidence from the scene, Rosson confessed.
Defense attorney Williams presented a very different account of the incident. Williams said Ortiz started the altercation by slamming his hand down on the hood of Rosson’s Yukon. That led to the argument and Ortiz bashed a gallon of milk on the Yukon and then threw the jug at the driver’s open window. Williams says he will present evidence that Rosson’s foot slipped and that’s when the vehicle struck Ortiz.
Both sides agree the video surveillance from Walmart will be key to the case. Rosson is charged with aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury. Because of prior felony offenses, Rosson is facing 5 to 99 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The trial resumes at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning with witnesses and evidence in courtroom A on the second floor of the Tom Green County courthouse.