Potential jurors in the manslaughter trial of 20-year-old William Ronald Jordan will be summoned to arrive in smaller groups to minimize the dangers presented by COVID 19..
Three full weeks have been set aside for Jordan's trial, which is scheduled to begin Oct. 19.
He's accused in the death of Anthony Dwyer, 54.
The two men were involved in an altercation on Saint John's Market Square boardwalk on July 13, 2018.
Dwyer fell, hit his head and died in hospital three days later.
The pool of potential jurors for the trial will be summoned in groups of 85 to arrive at the Trade and Convention Centre over a two-day period Oct. 14 and 15.
The Convention Centre, on the city waterfront, is just metres from the site of the alleged altercation between the two men.
Justice Darrell Stephenson said the process for selection of the jury will be similar to that of last month's fitness trial for Matthew Vincent Raymond, the Fredericton man accused of shooting and killing two civilians and two police officers, in August 2018.
While several dozen potential jurors will be summoned to arrive at the same time Regional Sheriff George Oram told a pre trial hearing in the Jordan case Wednesday that the experience in the Raymond case shows far fewer than that will actually respond.
"Basically, the most we had was in the vicinity of 15 to 17 people show up per group," said Oram.
Jurors were spaced two metres apart during the Raymond trial,
Stephenson said potential jurors in the Jordan case will be asked to come forward one at a time to determine if they know any of the parties involved in the case or any of the witnesses.
The more exhaustive, regular jury selection process will follow with the smaller pool of people remaining on the first day of the trial.
"Because of the pandemic the fewer people on site the better it is for all of us," said Oram.
The jury in the Raymond case found him fit to stand trial after just one hour of deliberating.
Oram said in the Jordan case six or seven groups would be summoned for pre-screening over the two days.