Jury selection begins in murder case

Local News

MONTICELLO, Ill. (WCIA) — The jury selection has begun for a man charged with killing his wife 27 years ago. Sheryl Ann Houser of Mahomet died in 1990. Her estranged husband Gregory Houser is charged with her murder. 

The judge interviewed potential candidates today at the Piatt County Courthouse, where the room was full of people. The victim’s family and others watched as the judge interviewed potential jurors — most of whom said they had either read about the case or knew witnesses who could be called to testify. Some candidates even said they’d already made up their minds about the verdict.

A murder trial isn’t typical for Piatt County. Back in 1990, Houser was found dead with a rope around her neck. Originally, the county coroner couldn’t determine the cause of death — and the case went cold. But a year ago, they ruled it a homicide, saying Houser was strangled.

At the time of Houser’s death, the couple was going through a divorce. Officials say they’re not sure how long the jury selection will take.

Gregory Houser has been in custody since September. If convicted, he could face up to 60 years in prison. 

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