A 7-person jury was selected Wednesday morning to hear testimony on three different counts over three different months charged against Sheridan resident David Selig.
Public Defender Robert Jones told the jury that his client had plead "not guilty" on the charges and that it was the State's burden to prove the case. Prosecuting attorney Christopher La Rosa thoroughly and methodically called upon ten witnesses throughout the day to testify.
The first charge dealt with events on the night of November 29, 2008. Selig had gone to visit his girlfriend, Candy Carlson, where they got into an argument and Carlson said Selig slammed his fist onto her daughter's laptop, shattering the screen. She also picked up the phone to call the police, and said that Selig knocked the phone from her hand. He left her home; she did call the police. Officers Hill and Walker came and observed the damage, then called for officers to go to Selig's home to question him. Detective Scott Brastrup told the jury he another officer found Selig under the influence of marijuana and in possession of several containers of the drug. Selig told them he took the drug medicinally to minimize the pain he experiences from glaucoma. He was arrested for the property destruction at Carlson's home, for obstructing an emergency call and for possession of a controlled substance.
The second charge dealt with events on the evening of March 3, 2009, when Selig went to the Sheridan County Detention Center during visiting hours. Corrections officer John Barnes testified that it is jail policy that no one be allowed to visit inmates if they themselves are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Selig demonstrated an impaired condition and failed a breath test Barnes administered. Selig went outside to leave. Then-deputy Sgt. Ryan Mulholland, who now is a private businessman, testified that he was summoned to determine Selig's condition, and performed the Field Sobriety Test, which Selig failed. Mulholland told the jury he felt he had probable cause to arrest Selig for DUI and for possession of marijuana, after a pipe was found on his person.
And the third charge dealt with events on the night of May 27, 2009 when a woman driving behind Selig on 11th Street observed him swerving, and then stopping in the middle of an intersection. He got out and asked her to help him leave "before the cops got there." She testified that he had slurred speech, couldn't walk straight and had bloodshot eyes. She helped tow him out of the intersection, and then left, taking a round-about way home because she didn't want him following her. She came around the block, and saw him in a different intersection, where she then called in a REDDI report. She also testified that on both sightings, Selig was alone. Officer Gerald Rasmussen testified that after observing Selig's condition, he was arrested for DUI. At the police station, he also tested positive for marijuana use, and admitted to smoking five joints earlier that day.
Against defender Jones' advise, Selig took the stand at the end of the afternoon. While he admitted to using marijuana and drinking, he claimed that on the second and third charges there were other people driving, and that in the first charge, the police forced themselves past him to enter his home. He became quite belligerent during La Rosa's cross questioning, losing his temper on the stand. Just before 5 pm, the jury went into deliberations. We hope to have their verdict later today.