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Jury selection starts in Manatee murder trial

BRADENTON — Attorneys have begun questioning 70 potential jurors during jury selection this morning in the first-degree murder trial of Otis C. Mack.

Mack, 21, is accused of killing 74-year-old Janice Fore, suffocating her by putting duct tape over her mouth. Prosecutors say Mack and his co-defendant, Marcos Herrera, broke into Fore’s Northwest Bradenton home in May 2008 and killed her during a burglary.

In April, a jury found Herrera guilty of first-degree murder and burglary, and a judge sentenced him to life in prison. Mack faces the same charges during a trial that is expected to take a week.

This morning Assistant State Attorney Art Brown and Assistant Public Defender Steven Schaefer questioned jurors about their prior knowledge of the case, and several were released after saying they had read previous news reports on Fore’s killing.