UPDATE: Champaign woman faces animal cruelty charges


CHAMPAIGN - A central Illinois woman who is facing animal cruelty charges will participate in the first trial in Champaign County history to have six people serving on the jury instead of 12.

According to our news partners at the Champaign News-Gazette, Kinny Redmon, 24, waived her right to a 12-person jury this week.  The use of six-person juries instead of 12-person juries was decided upon as a cost-saving measure.  However, defendants will still have the choice to have a 12-person jury, if they wish.

Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz says the following about six-person juries:

"6 person juries are allowed under the law at the request of the defendant.   The prosecutor has no say in the issue, just like we have no say in the question of whether a defendant chooses a trial by jury or a trial by judge.   We do not see the 6 person jury as a problem because we have the same number of opportunities to strike potential jurors as we do with 12 person juries.  We will try our case the same whether the finder of fact is one person or 6 or 12."

Redmon faces charges of aggravated cruelty to animals and animal torture in connection with an incident on June 4.  Urbana police say Redmon allegedly placed her ex-boyfriend's puppy into an oven and turning it on, resulting in the death of the puppy.  If convicted of the charges, Redmon could serve up to eight years in prison.

We will provide more details as they become available.

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