First day of jury selection in Hamad trial greeted with protests - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

First day of jury selection in Hamad trial greeted with protests

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WARREN, Ohio -

The jury selection process begins in the capital murder trial of Nasser Hamad.

The Howland man accused of fatally shooting two people and wounding three others outside his home off of Route 46 in February, plans to argue self-defense.

Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Judge Ronald Rice tells 21 News that 31 of the more than 170 people in the jury pool were excused Wednesday after filling out jury questionnaires.

Judge Rice warned potential jury members during his initial instructions Wednesday morning they must avoid news reports and social media.

"I would like to caution you, all of you, that your social media may be monitored by the attorneys or any party involved in the case," he said.

Protestors gathered near Warren's Courthouse Square Monday during the first day of court proceedings.

Many held signs while chanting "Free Nasser".

They believe Hamad acted within his rights the day gunfire broke out in late February outside his home.

"If it's Nasser Hamad today, it could be me or you tomorrow when we do the same thing, so we have to stand up for each other," said Thomas Hill a protest organizer out of Cleveland. 

Hamad's son was among the group of protesters who questioned why the other individuals who were on his father's property the day of the shootings are not currently facing criminal charges.

"Why hasn't anyone else been charged? This is all bogus," he yelled. 

The protests remained peaceful. At one point Warren police and Trumbull County Sheriff Deputies approached the group and asked them to stop using megaphones.

The court plans to begin questioning potential jury members beginning Thursday afternoon at 1 p.m.

Security inside and outside the court was tight - extra precautions that will remain in place throughout the trial. 

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