Jury selection began yesterday in Bass Lake Superior Court in the murder and attempted murder trial of George Taylor-Windsor, 26, who moved to California recently from Wyoming. He faces 30 years to life in prison if convicted on the charges.
According to presiding judge Charles Wieland, 175 jury summonses were sent out, but only 61 people showed up. By 2:20 p.m. this afternoon, the court had exhausted the number of jurors available, as some were dismissed for hardships and others were let go through a peremptory challenge.
Another group of jurors will be called up to serve, and jury selection will begin again on Monday, Apr. 24.
Taylor-Windsor is charged in the Nov. 15, 2016, death of Jessica Nelson, 23, of Foresthill, Calif. He is also accused of stabbing another occupant of the pickup in which they were all riding, sending that man to the hospital with multiple stab wounds. The injured man has been identified as Reid Kallenberg.
Shortly after 11 p.m. on the day of the killing, the Sheriff’s Office received a call of a suspicious male loudly knocking on a door and yelling for help just off River Falls Road in Oakhurst.
At about the same time, there were reports of a vehicle crash on Highway 41 between Oakhurst and the Bass Lake turnoff (Road 222).
Deputies and CHP arrived on scene of the accident and found that a pickup had collided with a rock embankment near River Falls Road. An injured adult male was found near the pickup and a deceased adult female was located inside the vehicle.
The injured male was transported to a hospital in Fresno where he was treated for stab wounds and interviewed by Sheriff’s detectives.
Detectives also responded to the scene of the initial call off River Falls Road and spoke with a man who had been detained at that location.
After the initial investigation, Taylor-Windsor was arrested for one count of murder and one count of attempted murder.
According to Madera County District Attorney David Linn, all involved were acquainted with each other, and all were from the same area, identified as Foresthill, Calif. Linn says all worked for or had relationship with one of the companies in the area performing hazardous tree removal.
The defendant is being held in the Madera County Jail on a $3.1 million bond.