FORT WORTH (KFDX/KJTL) — The long-awaited trial of Anthony Ryan Patterson is now underway in Tarrant County with the process of selecting a 12-member jury beginning on Monday afternoon, October 30, 2023.
Patterson, 47, of Wichita Falls, a once prominent business and community leader until he was first arrested in February 2021, is facing a judge and jury on 20 felony charges involving child trafficking and child sex crimes.
Patterson’s trial got underway on Monday, October 30, 2023, at the Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center in Fort Worth, with voir dire proceedings and jury selection getting underway at 1:30 p.m. in the Voir Dire Courtroom.
The jury pool was made up of 100 men and women who live in Tarrant County to begin proceedings on Monday. Prior to their arrival at the Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center, the members of the jury pool completed a questionnaire online.
On Monday, an additional written questionnaire was given to each jury pool member to complete. Once those were complete, all 100 members of the jury pool were assigned a number, 1 through 100, and were lined up in the hallways in numerical order.
Due to the amount of people in the jury pool, the Voir Dire Courtroom was completely full and members of the media were not able to sit inside the courtroom.
It wasn’t until around 2:30 p.m. on Monday that the members of the jury pool were all seated inside the courtroom for jury selection to begin, and after just over an hour inside the courtroom, a majority of the jury pool was released for the day and instructed to return to the Voir Dire Courtroom on Tuesday, October 31, 2023, at 9:30 a.m., at which time jury selection is set to resume.
A few moments later, 20 men and women of the jury pool exited the courtroom and were told by courthouse officials they had been dismissed from jury duty. It is unclear at this time why these 20 individuals were dismissed.
Voir dire is set to continue on Tuesday, October 31, at 9:30 p.m., with the prosecution, led by Brooke Grona-Robb, Assistant District Attorney of Wichita County, and assisted by John Gillespie, Wichita County’s District Attorney, will begin questioning the remaining 80 members of the jury pool.
Once the State has completed its questioning, Patterson’s defense team, consisting of high-profile defense attorneys Toby Shook and Michael Mowla, former prosecutor Kim Laseter, and Wichita Falls attorney Chuck Smith, will present its questions to the jury pool.
78th District Court Judge Meredith Kennedy, who is presiding over the case, said during pre-trial proceedings that she intends to have a jury seated and sworn in by Tuesday afternoon.