April 27, 2005

Idaho grand jurors to be questioned about racial bias

In Moscow, Judge Stegner has ruled that members of a grand jury may be questioned about any racial bias they may have had toward the defendants in a perjury case relating to the murder of U of I football player Eric McMillan.

The case revolves around the September killing of Eric McMillan, 19. Brothers Matthew R. Wells II, 27, and James Wells, 25, both of Seattle, have been charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy. Six of the witnesses called to testify during the grand jury investigation — most of them part of the Wells family — were later charged with perjury.

The defense argued last month that several statements in the grand jury transcripts suggested jurors may have voted in favor of the indictments because the defendants are black.