BENTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Jury selection began on February 2 for the third capital murder trial of Mauricio Torres, who is accused of murdering his six-year-old son during a weekend camping trip.

Torres has already been found guilty by two previous juries. The first conviction was overturned on a technicality related to sentencing, and the second was declared a mistrial after the verdict when Torres’ stepson jumped out of the witness box and attempted to attack him during sentencing. This third trial was set to begin on January 30 but was delayed due to winter weather.

A pool of potential jurors gathered before Judge Brad Karren in Benton County circuit court on Thursday morning. While Karren normally presides in Division 2, the jurors were called to the larger courtroom in Division 1 across the street to accommodate the large number of people. Karren said that 60 potential members of the pool arrived and he commended them for doing so given the weather and road conditions.

The day’s proceedings began with a roll call of all potential jurors listed, with only a handful absent. Karren read them a statement of the case agreed upon by both sides and he noted the “extreme indifference to the value of human life” demonstrated by Torres’ alleged crimes.

A 2015 Arkansas Department of Human Services report confirmed the details of Isaiah Torres’ abuse, which included cuts, bruises, sexual penetration, abuse with a deadly weapon and extreme or repeated cruelty before his death. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Torres.

Isaiah Torres, 6

Judge Karren noted that Torres’ case has received significant media attention, and he reminded the pool that if selected, they would judge the case solely on the testimony they heard in court. As for answering questions as part of the jury selection process, his instructions were fairly simple.

“Just be honest,” he said. He also informed all of those gathered not to discuss the case or to consume any news or information about it. “Keep an open mind,” he told them.

The group was then sworn in collectively. When asked by the judge if they knew any of the parties involved, a handful said that they were acquainted with prosecutor Nathan Smith. Similar responses came when the judge read through the list of witnesses in the case.

A sidebar was called after one potential juror said that he had previously worked in law enforcement. This came when the judge asked everyone if they felt they could be impartial during the trial.

Next, he reminded those gathered that Torres currently holds a “presumption of innocence.” Karren then told a brief story about his time in fourth grade, and how he began that academic year with an “A” grade.

“He has an ‘A’ right now as we sit here,” Karren said. “The burden of proof is on the state.”

He then told the pool that he expects it will take two-to-three weeks to try the case in full, and he asked those that might have a scheduling conflict or who would be unable to serve on the jury during that time to stand up, identify themselves to the court, and explain their circumstances.

Several members of the pool did so for a variety of personal reasons ranging from medical conditions to family and professional obligations. The judge did not publicly dismiss any of the pool at that point, but several sidebars were held with the attorneys for both sides.

The potential jurors were each given a slip of paper with a date and time to return for jury questioning. Those sessions were scheduled to continue with small groups called back to the Division 1 courtroom on Thursday afternoon, followed by the others coming to Karren’s courtroom in Division 2 on Friday and next week.

Karren’s schedule for empaneling a jury isn’t set to conclude until Friday, February 10. With a final reminder to the pool not to blog, tweet, or read about the case, court was adjourned.

The first batch of potential jurors will return at 1 p.m. today.