Jury selection takes place in fatal Lake George boating crash case

LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Jury selection began Monday in the case of a man accused in a deadly boat crash on Lake George.

The search for 12 jurors and two alternates in the case against Alex West began Monday. West faces a 12-count indictment, including Manslaughter, Criminally Negligent Homicide and Assault.

In July 2016, police said West crashed his speedboat on Lake George into an antique boat and killed Charlotte McCue, 8. West was allegedly drinking and using illegal drugs at an annual party called Log Bay Day.

West’s attorney Cheryl Coleman said about 90 potential jurors came to the Warren County Courthouse Monday morning. Thirty-one survived the prescreening process after two-thirds said they may have a conflict that prevents them from being impartial in trial.

“They had formed opinions based on what they’d seen and read,” Coleman said.

Police said blood tests showed West had cocaine, ecstasy, and marijuana in his system hours after the crash. But court records said they won’t be used in trial due to an error in a search warrant.

The judge mentioned the tests to the potential jurors in court. They remain a concern for Coleman.

“People heard so much about evidence, which is inadmissible,” she said.

Following a lunch break, the Warren County District Attorney and Coleman narrowed the pool down to nine jurors – seven men and two women. Coleman hopes they’ll find a jury that’s open minded.

“Hope that there are people out there that are, you know, willing to give my client the presumption of innocence that the law says he has to be given,” she said.

The judge said he expects a full jury around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. Once the trial begins, it’s expected to last nearly three weeks.

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