BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - 12 jurors and four alternates have been sworn-in for the trial of Riccardo McCray, the man accused in last summer's deadly mass shooting outside a downtown Buffalo restaurant.
McCray faces nine counts, including three counts of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree murder, four counts of first-degree attempted murder and one count of weapons possession in connection with the Aug. 14 incident outside City Grill Restaurant.
Eight people were shot, four of them fatally.
The jury was selected in three days, which legal observers said was quick for such a high profile case.
Four of the jurors are women. The remaining members of the panel, including the alternates, are all men.
All of the jurors are white. McCray is African-American.
Defense attorney Barry Covert, who is not involved in the McCray trial, said the notion that a black defendant would prefer black jurors is not always the case.
"To say that a juror is going to be sympathetic to one side or the other based on their racial profile would be incorrect," Covert said.
"Where you would have a black defendant and a white victim, then perhaps you have those concerns," he added.
"In this case, because ethnicity is consistent between the defense and [victims], [race] doesn't seem to have played into the case," said Covert.
But attorney Terrence McKelvey, who represented McCray in the weeks following his arrest, has a different opinion about the racial makeup of the jury.
"It's reprehensible in a city of over 100,000 black people in any major trial like that we sit there with a jury that is all white," McKelvey said.
Erie County Court Judge Sheila DiTullio will allow local media outlets to video and audio record opening and closing statements. A still photographer will also be permitted to enter the courtroom.
Attorneys in the case are under a judge's gag order and are barred from speaking to reporters during the course of the trial.
The judge has also prohibited reporters from live blogging or using Twitter to update the public directly from the courtroom.