Bush trek for jurors in double murder case

A DOUBLE murder trial involving two alleged shootings in 1992 and 2006 will last 15 weeks and hear from more than 200 witnesses, a Hobart court has heard.

It is alleged Stephen Roy Standage shot Ronald Frederick Jarvis, 37, in the head and body at Nugent in July 1992 and shot John Lewis Thorn, 59, in the head at Lake Leake in August 2006.

Mr Standage, 61, has previously pleaded not guilty to both murder charges and faces trial in the Supreme Court.

In a lengthy empanelling process before Justice Stephen Estcourt in the Supreme Court yesterday, more than 40 people were called to be jurors. 

Many were stood aside due to commitments made over the next four months or were excused for knowing one of the many witnesses.

Justice Estcourt told the jury: ``It is important you don't know anyone in this case.''

The jurors will be taken to three locations throughout Tasmania to view evidence, including Lachlan in the Derwent Valley and Kalangadoo near Lake Leake where they will then be driven by four-wheel-drives and be required to trek through bushland.

Crown prosecutor Darryl Coates, SC, and defence lawyer Tamara Jago, SC, will present their opening statements next Wednesday after the jury is formally sworn in.

It is expected the swearing-in of the jurors and opening statements could take more than a day, and the first witnesses will be called on March 31.

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