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Jury selection begins in drunken driving-murder trial

Posted: September 20, 2012 5:44 p.m.
Updated: September 20, 2012 5:44 p.m.

Jury selection began Thursday in the case of an Agua Dulce man accused of being intoxicated and killing his neighbor with his car.

Dennis Keene, 64, faces a murder charge in Antelope Valley Superior Court, as well as drunken driving, in a crash more than a year ago that killed Lori Lindlief, 55, while she was walking her dogs on an Agua Dulce street.

On Thursday afternoon, lawyers representing the accused man and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office began interviewing potential jurors, said Deputy District Attorney Susan Choi.

Lawyers have 60 prospective jurors to go through and interviewed 13 of them Thursday.

“It’s going slowly,” Choi said. “When you have a more serious case, like this one, more jurors are called.”

With more jurors from which to choose, each lawyer is given more opportunity to question them, she said.
Jury selection is expected to resume Monday.

Keene was arrested in August 2011 and charged in connection with the death of Lindlief. Both were residents of White Fox Lane in Agua Dulce.

Lindlief had been walking at least four of her dogs with her boyfriend on Mabana Street, just west of White Fox Lane, when she was hit by a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck, sheriff’s deputies reported at the time.

The month after his arrest Keene posted the $1 million bail amount to be released from custody, but a week before Christmas, on the heels of a preliminary hearing, he was ordered to stand trial and had his bail increased from $1 million to $3 million.

He has remained in custody since.

In March, Judge Bernie LaFerteza rejected the defense’s argument that Lindlief was to blame for her own death because she darted out in front of Keene’s vehicle.




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