It was standing-room-only this (Monday) morning in a Scott County courtroom as jury selection began in the trial of Roger Bentley. The 38-year-old Brandon man is charged with kidnapping and killing ten-year-old Jetseta Gage last March. Scott County Sheriff Dennis Conard says security is tight. Because of the high profile of the trial, and at the request of the presiding judge, Conard says they’ve started metal-screening of everyone who’s allowed on the third floor of the courthouse.
The trial was moved to Davenport because of publicity about the case. The trial’s so high-profile, Conard says they intend to eliminate any problems before they have a chance to occur. Bentley, who was already a convicted sex offender when he was charged with Gage’s murder, created an outrage that led the state to reexamine its sex offender laws. It’s expected to take two days to choose a jury from a pool of 180 people.